Simple steps to avoid ladder falls

Injury Matters urges caution when using ladders

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TREAD CAREFULLY: Following some basic safety precautions can limit the risk of ladder injury.

TREAD CAREFULLY: Following some basic safety precautions can limit the risk of ladder injury.

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Injury Matters is reminding ladder users that a fall can have long lasting effects.

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WHAT goes up must come down - but unfortunately when it comes to ladders, the down can be quite unexpected and devastating.

Injury prevention organisation Injury Matters urges people to play it safe when it comes to their summer DIY projects by practicing ladder safety to prevent falls.

Falls are the leading cause of injury fatality and hospitalisation in Western Australia and the organisation's injury prevention manager Rachel Meade said a person doesn't have to fall far to suffer a significant injury.

"Even a fall from a relatively small height can cause injuries which can have a lasting effect," she said.

Volunteer Ursula Badia experienced a fall while hanging curtains and urges everyone to avoid similar injury by being safety conscious.

"While stepping down the ladder, I missed two steps and ended up with a knee injury," she said.

"I was out of work for several weeks and developed a cyst in my knee as a result. I suffered painful cramps in my knee for a long time afterward."

Basic precautions include taking the time to check the ladder is in good condition, is the right height for a job and is set on firm, clear ground.

Once on the ladder, it is important to work within arm's reach and to maintain three points of contact with the ladder.

Ms Meade said it was also important for people to know their limits and work to their capabilities.

"Consider if you need to call a friend or professional for assistance," she said.

Injury Matters delivers the Stay On Your Feet program, WA's leading falls prevention program for older adults living in the Western Australian community.

For more information on the incidence of falls in WA, click here.

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