It’s that time of the year, and I’m already seeing the seasonal uptick in the number of ladder injuries. Interestingly, there are now more ladder injuries during Halloween because hanging lights for that dark day has now become de rigueur.
Look, it’s pretty simple. Ladder injuries are potentially devastating and almost 100 percent preventable.
There are about 1,000 reported deaths from ladder injuries every year (and that’s just the reported workplace injuries). Then there are tens of thousands of reported ladder injuries, starting from the neck and working down to the foot and ankle. I see the minor ankle and wrist sprains and fractures in the office, but in the ER, we see life-altering injuries that could have been prevented.
Patients are either embarrassed or devastated over the decisions they made: the decision to do it in the dark, so they could see the lights better; the decision to do it in flip-flops, or to reach for that last light, rather than climb down and reposition the ladder. Then there’s not watching for that last step; standing on the top step of the ladder (where the warning says not to). Putting a ladder in soft dirt, only to find yourself teeter-tottering over the porch, grabbing for gutters which aren’t made to hold humans suspended in the air, like they always seem to do in Christmas comedy movies.
Set yourself up for success. Have a spotter. Use the right ladder for the job. Put it on solid ground. Get down and move that ladder.
Make sure your will is in order and your life and disability insurance policies are paid up.
Or how about just don’t put lights up high. Use those blanket lights and light projectors! Better yet, hire a professional crew to put them up for you, or use a wreath and some poinsettias, and save your body and some electricity to boot!