Southern Gazette (South Perth) - - OPINION -

CON­SUMER agen­cies have funded a cam­paign to warn peo­ple about the dan­gers of mis­us­ing a lad­der. Ap­par­ently, 1600 peo­ple are taken to hospi­tal ev­ery year in Aus­tralia af­ter fall­ing from lad­ders. One third of those peo­ple need in­ten­sive care and a quar­ter of those pa­tients die from their in­juries. It is tragic for the vic­tims and their fam­i­lies – but will an ad­ver­tis­ing cam­paign make any dif­fer­ence? More­over, should tax­payer money be spent to pre­vent stu­pid­ity? Many of those who sur­vive need on­go­ing treat­ment, which adds costs to the health sys­tem, so pre­vent­ing an in­jury would save money. The data shows most of the in­jured are older men – who al­ready know the dan­gers but still take risks. They prob­a­bly also take risks with chain­saws, an­gle grinders, lawn mow­ers and mo­tor bikes. The cam­paign cost $80,000 for videos, brochures and posters. It can be viewed at www.prod­uct­safety.gov.au/lad­der­safe­t­y­mat­ters.

Rick Lee - re­gional edi­tor

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