A new national educational campaign has been launched urging older Australian men to prioritise safety when working with ladders.
Around 1600 men aged over 65 are hospitalised annually across Australia due to ladder related incidences and most of the incidences occur while doing DIY maintenance work at home. The
campaign is aimed at having people re-think the risks involved in ladder work.
Ladder safety tips advised to reduce the risk of injury are:
- ensuring you have the right ladder for job;
- not working in wet or windy conditions;
- take time to set up your ladder;
- prioritise safety when working up the ladder;
- have another person hold the ladder;
- know your limits and work to your ability.
The Australian Competition & Consumer Commission has published a product safety promotion which features three men talking about their difficulties recovering from injuries after having falls. The men had falls from ladders whilst investigating a leaking roof, sanding the exterior of their homes and overreaching and falling from a DIY structure set up in order to trim a hedge.
In these cases, their lives have been significantly affected as it has taken a large amount of time to recover from the injuries. This has impacted on their mental health, as well as not being able to assist around the house and it has impacted upon the families in their care. The recent highly reported incident where Molly Meldrum sustained serious injuries from a fall off a ladder, while putting up Christmas decorations, highlights the dangers involved with working from ladders.
Further information is available, along with recommendations for safety, on a number of safety at www.productsafety.gov.au/publications/ladder-safety-matters.
Kelvin Keane is a Senior Associate on the Kreisson Construction team.
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