National Ladder Safety Month

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(By FMB Fire Chief Matt Love) Every year over 100 people die in ladder-related accidents, and thousands suffer disabling injuries. Join the FMBFD and the American Ladder Institute this March and participate in the fifth annual National Ladder Safety Month. This important month was designed to raise awareness of ladder safety and to decrease the number of ladder-related injuries and fatalities.

What is National Ladder Safety Month?
National Ladder Safety Month is the only movement dedicated exclusively to the promotion of ladder safety, at home and at work. Help us bring awareness to the importance of the safe use of ladders through resources, training and a national dialogue. 

Here are some facts regarding ladder incidents:

  • Over 137 ladder injuries a day
  • There are approximately 100 fatalities from falls a year
  • The most common ladder falls happen between 6 and 10 feet off the ground
  • The 2 most common ladder accidents are missing the last step when climbing down and overreaching

Here are some ladder safety facts regarding the work place:

  • $17.1 billion is spent on workplace falls from working at heights
  • Falls are in the top 3 most common disabling workplace injury
  • Ladders are #6 on OSHA’s Top 10 Most Cited Violations list.

Just to put it into perspective there are 136,118 emergency room visits a year due to ladder injuries, 19,000 emergency room visits a year due to high heel injuries, 11,000 emergency room visits a year due to house fires, 3,836 emergency room visits a year due to injuries from microwaves, and 16 shark attacks a year.

The “Why”: Every Life Saved is Precious

The goals of National Ladder Safety Month are to:

  • Decrease number of ladder-related injuries and fatalities
  • Lower the rankings of ladder-related safety citations on OSHA’s yearly “Top 10 Citations List”
  • Increase the number of companies and individuals that inspect and properly dispose of old, damaged or obsolete ladders

Unfortunately, I speak from experience this year! Please use this month to educate friends, co-workers, and family to review ladder safety and avoid preventable tragedies.

Matt Love has been the Fort Myers Beach Fire Chief since 2009. In 2019 he was selected by the Fire Chiefs’ Association of Lee County Florida as Fire Chief of the Year. He can be reached at the fire department at 239- 590-4200