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KU-EHS August Safety Tip: 500,000 Falls From Ladders Annually; 97 Percent Occur at Home or on Farms

Tuesday, August 1, 2017

According the American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons, every year 500,000 people are treated for ladder-related injuries and approximately 300 of these incidents prove to be fatal. In 2007 alone, more than 400 people died as a result of falls on or from ladders or scaffolding. –(Liberty Mutual - Research Institute for Safety)

More alarming statistics:

• Fatal falls, by type of fall, 2009, over one-third involved falls from roofs or ladders. Out of 617 falls, 20 percent were from the ladder, 18 percent were from the roof.  –(U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, U. S. Department of Labor, 2010)

• Work-related fatal falls, by type of fall, 2010, nearly two-fifths involved falls from roofs or ladders. Out of 646 falls, 20 percent were from the ladder, 18 percent were from the roof. –(U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, U. S. Department of Labor, 2011)

• Ladder-related injuries per 100,000 people rose almost 27 percent during the 16-year study period -- 97.3 percent occurred in non-occupational settings, such as homes and farms. More than 2.1 million people needed to be hospitalized, about twice the overall admission rate for consumer-product related injuries. –(PubliMed.gov)

Study conclusion: Given the 50 percent increase in ladder-related injuries during the study period, the relatively high likelihood of hospital admission, and the predominance of injuries in non-occupational settings, increased efforts are needed to prevent ladder-related injuries.

You can prevent ladder accidents by taking five simple steps:

  1. Inspect ladders carefully before use—ensure there are no cracked or broken rungs;
  2. Follow ladder safety rules and regulations;
  3. Use your common sense—only one person on a ladder at a time;
  4. Avoid risky behavior when using ladders; and

Report safety problems with ladders right away.



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