We’ve all seen hilarious accidents caught on camera for ‘You’ve Been Framed’, some involving ladders. And while the misfortune of others can be funny when we know that no serious injury has been incurred, some people are not so fortunate.
While FAKRO prides itself on the safety and reliability of its loft ladders, care must always be taken when working at height.
So here’s our guide to staying safe on ladders (with a bias towards loft ladders, of course).
Treating heights with respect
It’s important to treat the equipment you use with respect, but unfortunately for some, we often realised this too late.
While you may disregard the potential danger of a ladder, something as miniscule as mis-stepping is all it may take to lose one’s balance and fall flat to the floor.
Sounds easily avoided, but here are some startling stats that prove why care should always be taken.
* Each year in the US there are more than 164,000 treated injuries and 300 deaths caused by falls from ladders.
* Most ladder deaths are from falls of 10 feet or less.
* Ladder falls are the most common ‘do-it-yourself’ injury.
* Nearly 1 in 10 falls result in a brain injury.
* These falls are the leading cause of traumatic brain injury across the developed world.
To avoid becoming a statistic common sense precautions are all you need.
Who is most at risk?
Unsurprisingly the majority of ladder injuries occur in the construction sector or in DIY work. We’re probably all guilty of underestimating the threat a ladder may actually pose causing us to cut corners on the necessary precautions.
The festive season is notorious for a spike in serious injuries, including falls from ladders, resulting in a rather joyless Christmas. Instances like this typically occur when retrieving or dismantling your Christmas tree. But Christmas is not the only time we should be aware of danger, as more and more lofts are being used for storage throughout the year.
Fundamentally, anyone is in danger of a fall. However, we can all significantly reduce the risks by following the recommended advice below.
Real Life Examples
A 54-year-old woman tragically suffered a fatal ladder fall after retrieving Christmas decorations from her attic. Reports indicated her fall was a consequence of one of the ladders rungs collapsing unexpectedly. This demonstrates the need to maintain or replace any equipment, including ladders, before they start to fail.
In another example a 32-year-old Texas man sustained horrific injuries following an unfortunate fall while helping out in his local community. Recalling the event, he plunged through the roof, descending 14 feet to land on his back. Initially claiming he ‘felt fine’ discomfort soon settled in, resulting in ‘significant’ back, neck and arm pain. After eventually being admitted to the hospital three days later, scans revealing major damage to one of his vertebrae. Had this been left untreated, he may have been paralysed.
Learning from others – and staying safe
Hopefully these examples of ladder accidents will encourage safe and responsible ladder use, and deter the potentially dangerous mistreatment of ladders.
How to stay safe when working at height
Follow this five point ladder safety strategy:
* Rule number one – working at height? Wear the correct PPE clothing.
* Always make sure your equipment is fit for purpose and well maintained. This includes ladders.
* Never over-reach. If you’re stretching to something at your finger-tips you could become unbalanced. Reset your ladder and try again. And always remain on two feet.
* Already have a loft ladder installed. Check it has been installed correctly, securely and is stable before use – every time.
* Know your equipment. FAKRO loft ladders are very easy to use, but understand how they collapse, and how the hatch mechanism works and you’ll be ready for any surprises.
Next time you’re in the loft
Falling off a ladder would definitely be a daft way to injure yourself. To avoid A&E embarrassment, make a conscious effort to be safe and smart upon a ladder. Remember our five point safety strategy and always stay wary when working at any height.
FAKRO loft ladders are the leading loft access solution for the UK with many styles suitable for most lofts.
Browse the selection here: https://www.fakro.co.uk/loft_ladders/ or talk to the team today.
Tel: 0845 021 3030