This week, I ran across a blog post from Culture of Safety. The article talks about how a single crack on one of the ladder rungs led to a woman falling as she hung Christmas decorations. She ended up passing away from her injuries. If she had done an inspection on the ladder before climbing, she would have noticed the crack and probably wouldn’t have climbed up.
After talking about the importance of a ladder inspection, the article goes on to discuss ladder injury statistics. According to the article, more than 90,000 people receive emergency room treatment. Elevated falls account for 15% of all occupational deaths. Over the last ten years, the number of ladder-related injuries has increased by 50 percent. These statistics reiterate the importance of proper ladder training. The article goes on to talk about the main types of ladder accidents: selecting the wrong type of ladder, using worn or damaged ladders, using ladders incorrectly and placing ladders incorrectly.
One of the most interesting parts from the article, however, was not the article itself. The comments found below the article were both interesting and heart-breaking.
“Unfortunately my ladder slipped out from under me, and I dislocated my foot and broke my ankle. I consider myself very lucky. I couldn’t believe how fast the bottom slipped out and away….no time to react.”
‘Yep, it really hurts when a step breaks and you are hanging tangled in a broken ladder.”
“My friend fell from a two step ladder and died. Very sad.”
“Great article! Sadly, it is not only do-it-yourselfers who require education about ladder safety—– there are many contractors out there.”
As you can see, plenty of people have experienced a ladder accident or know someone who has.
This article had many great reminders. First, remember to inspect your ladder. Second, be aware of ladder statistics and getting properly trained. Third, almost everyone has a story of a ladder accident.