When the top of the ladder is a hazard
As the grand final afterglow fades, football fans are turning to another of Australia’s favourite pastimes.
It can be exhausting and there is often a ladder involved but that is where the similarities end.
The warmer weather signals the start of the DIY season, when hardware stores get a bump in business and accidents increase around the home.
For the motivated among us, it is a great time to get stuck into a weekend project in the lead-up to the Christmas holidays.
For the more reluctant home improvers, there are fewer excuses for staying on the couch.
Phil Petrillo has been gearing up for the post-football rush at his store, Osborne Park Home Hardware and Building Centre.
He expects an increase in business of 10 to 25 per cent during the “prime time” for DIY.
“We’ve got a combination of a few factors coming together,” Mr Petrillo said.
“As the weather dries out, people are able to do things outside and they’re able to start doing things that continue over three or four days.
“There’s more daylight, it’s a lot warmer, so people are getting out of bed earlier and they have more time on their hands.
“When you’re tied up in the footy it can absolutely be a factor,” he said.
More people picking up tools and climbing ladders inevitably leads to more injuries.
The Australian Institute of Health and Welfare published statistics this year that showed more than a third of DIY injuries in 2013-14 came from falls from ladders.
Almost two-thirds of those falls caused a bone fracture.
Contact with power tools or household machinery was the second leading cause of injury.
There were 283 reports of partial or complete finger amputations while using a powered saw.
Four in five DIY injuries happened to men aged between 55 and 74. WA organisation Injury Matters runs Stay on Your Feet, a fall prevention program for older adults.
Injury prevention manager Rachel Meade said it was important for DIYers to stay within their limits.
“The weather’s improving, so people will have a tendency to get out and start doing some things,” Ms Meade said. “We would just encourage them to use the right protective equipment, make sure they have the right tools for the job and be aware of their own skill level.
“I think it’s just about being aware of your own abilities and recognising that as people are getting older they might need to get people in to do things they would have done before.”
Phil Petrillo’s hardware store gets busy after the footy season ends.