With a combined 25 years of experience in the high-rise access industry, the founders of Low-Level Access, LLC identified an underserved market that needed immediate support. “The use of ladders on commercial and industrial sites are becoming a growing risk for contractors,” says Chad Baumgartner, president of Wisconsin-based Low-Level Access. “Contractors have since defined initiatives over the last 8 to 9 years with the goal of eliminating personal injuries from work at height falls that were a direct result of ladder use.”
So began the beginnings of Low-Level Access, which was founded in 2018, and whose main objective is to change the mindset of workers and safety priorities on jobsites. Baumgartner says. “Understanding the end users’ needs and keeping an ear to the field allows us to better support our dealer partners and gives us clarity in product development.”
Baumgartner notes that comparable rental companies in mature markets such as the UK have thousands of low-level lifts in their fleets. “We can only grow our fleet size as fast as the
market accepts change,” he says.
The right place and equipment Size matters on a jobsite. Baumgartner says contractors are looking for product that has a small footprint, is nimble and solid. “Our low-level access lifts are easily used in tight places where conventional lifts have trouble navigating,” he notes. While some could argue that there is a large number of applications where ladder use will be restricted, Baumgartner pauses; “I hesitate to suggest ladders will be replaced in whole,” he says. “Product improvement happens every day, but I haven’t seen a ‘species’ become extinct.”
The main argument many have is that the use of low-level access equipment is not only safer, but the efficiencies and benefits are becoming better understood. Afterall, standing on the rungs of a ladder all day can fatigue workers. “We see nothing but growth in a market that could easily be considered in its infancy today,” Baumgartner says. “Additionally, there are opportunities in industrial, plant and institutional that are also underserved.”
“Surprisingly, the majority of workplace injuries from falls occur at less than 6-feethigh,” Baumgartner notes. “The market requires…