ladder dataWe’ve focused the last month on holiday ladder safety. With the holiday season winding down, it’s time to focus on some of the hard data of ladder accidents.

According to this Australian newspaper, ladder falls are increasing, resulting in more severe injuries such as brain damage, spinal injuries and death.

The Data

According to Dr. Helen Ackland, a doctor quoted in the article, accidents involving ladders increased by 67 percent from 2007-2011. In addition, 500 ladder falls happened between 2012 and 2014. Dr. Ackland also said that the victims were mostly men over 50 using the ladder at home.

“A lot of these people were tradesmen or engineers in their working life, but they weren’t using the occupational health and safety rules at home,” she said.

Her research and statements show the importance of teaching workers ladder safety both for the job and at home.

Fighting the Trend

According to Dr. Ackland’s research, the main causes of falls were using the ladders on an uneven surface, losing balance, slipping on ladder rungs and overreaching.

Fortunately, each of the main causes can be combatted with some simple training and a little extra care. Uneven surfaces can be fought with leg levelers or by checking the ground before climbing. Losing balance and overreaching can both be treated by paying attention while on the ladder and by moving the ladder if the reaching is required. Slipping can be fought by wearing proper footwear and by making sure the ladder is clean, without any grease or liquid on the rungs before climbing. Ladder slipping can also be prevented by checking the ladder’s feet and making sure the ladder is resting on a secure surface.

The data does not lie. Whether a person has a ladder accident at home or at work, the resulting injuries can be incredibly dangerous. Take a few minutes to remind your team of the importance of practicing ladder safety on the job as well as at home.