Stepping up for ladder safety
OLDER Mansfield men are being urged to put their safety first when using ladders as part of a new education awareness campaign.
The Ladder Safety Matters campaign, part of a national approach to reduce serious injury and deaths from ladder falls, tells the story of three Victorian men who fell from a ladder while doing home maintenance.
The videos chronicle their fall, recovery and life after their ladder injury.
Almost every ladder injury was preventable and is why older men are being urged to consider the consequences of a ladder fall.
Ladders are associated with more deaths and injuries than any other household product, with men aged 60 years and older most likely to suffer serious injuries from a ladder fall.
In Victoria alone, there is an average of 1330 emergency department presentations as a result of a domestic ladder fall, and approximately seven men die as a result of falling from a ladder at home each year.
One of the videos tells the story of Victorian retiree, Mick, aged in his sixties, who fell from a DIY structure he had set up to trim a hedge in January last year.
Mick fell more than two metres to the ground, hitting his head on a brick window sill on the way down.
He broke four ribs, his C6 vertebrae and fractured five other vertebrate and was forced to spend more than two months bedridden and confined in a neck brace.
Mick’s fall could have been prevented, and should serve as a warning to older men to think twice before going up on a ladder.
“My message to men – particularly those in their sixties and beyond – is clear,” said state Minister for Health Jill Hennessy.
“When using a ladder, make safety matter.”
“Often it’s a splitsecond decision, something the man knows is a risky shortcut, that lands them in hospital,” said head of the trauma intensive care unit at The Alfred Hospital, Dr Owen Roodenburg.
“One third of ladder fall patients admitted to our hospital need intensive care.
“Shockingly, a quarter of these intensive care patients die, and of those who do survive, over half are not well enough to live at home after 12 months.”
Visit the Better Health Channel to watch Mick’s story and find safety tips to help prevent ladder falls in the home at www. betterhealth.vic.gov.au/ laddersafety.
TAKE CARE: Older men are being urged to take more care when climbing ladders to prevent injuries.