Doctors have warned anyone who is planning to climb a ladder this summer to ensure they’re taking the necessary precautions to avoid potential disasters. Each year about seven people die in Victoria alone from falling from ladders, with most incidents occurring over the festive period.
Electrician Gary Mann fell six metres when the ladder he was on slid from underneath him 10 months ago. “I was in so much pain, I couldn’t breathe,” he told 9News. Mr Mann suffered six broken ribs, a shattered elbow, and internal injuries. He is yet to return to work. “You never think it’s going to happen to you.”
The latest data has revealed falls from ladders has increased 46 percent over the past five years. On average, there are more than 1800 presentations to emergency departments each year.
Doctors said most over those are incidents around the home in preparation for Christmas. “People are putting up decorations, they’re cleaning gutters particularly in the recent storms,” Dr Helen Ackland from The Alfred Hospital said. The message is to always have someone holding the base of the ladder, and never climb up one without a helmet, as head injuries can prove fatal.
The type of surface the ladder is placed on of should also be checked; anti-slide technology can help but above all else, the attitude to safety around heights- especially when it comes to men- need to change, Mr Mann said. “Don’t take a ‘she’ll be right’ attitude, and make sure someone is with you. “Sometimes taking an extra five or ten seconds just to make sure everything is right will make a difference.”