The 2019 Winner of Category 2A: Best Solution of a WHS Risk (Small Business) Award was The Lacket Company. Below is information on their winning submission.
The company was formed in 2015 when two mates (a paramedic and an engineer) discovered that there were no simple, practical ways to secure an extension ladder in order to prevent the ladder from slipping or falling.
As they witnessed an increase in the number of hospitalisations due to falls from ladders, the developers wanted to look at the problem from another perspective. After researching products currently available in the market, they quickly realised that all the options were impractical, potentially dangerous and did not actually secure the ladder to a stable structure. The biggest problem they found was the need to secure the ladder prior to climbing it, as many of the currently available options require the operator to climb an unsecured ladder in order to secure it.
After almost three years of research, design, development, and testing, what evolved was the most innovative ladder safety attachment that met the shortcomings of anything else on the market. The Lacket product stops an extension ladder from slipping sideways or falling backwards vertically. The Lacket uses a unique wedging effect to lock an extension ladder firmly into position. It is a fully adjustable attachment to fit any of the most common ladder makes and models that meet Australian safety standards. The Lacket does not require removing any roof tiles or drilling into building fascia, ensuring minimal if any damage to walls or roofs.
The Lacket company stated that the biggest barrier in the roll out of this product and one that they continue to face, is around the wider education about ladder safety. With a common response of ‘we have been using a ladder this way for years, why change now?’ Despite an approval from Safework NSW and The Lacket product eligible for a safety product rebate, the guys still encountered difficulty with a cultural shift of ladder safety. They work hard at promoting the Lacket’s simplicity and effectiveness when using an extension ladder, and award programs such as the National Safety Awards of Excellence assists with this.
The Lacket company valued the experience of entering the National Safety Awards of Excellence and honoured to have taken out the winning spot of Best Solution of a WHS Risk (Small Business). The recognition from the safety community to see how the Lacket’s product can reduce the risk of injury or death from ladders falls is appreciated. The Lacket Company would recommend and encourage anyone who believes in their product or solution to enter the awards. “It is a great opportunity to connect with others who recognise and encourage ingenuity.”