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    Coat of ArmsMedia Release
    Attorney-General and Minister for Justice and Minister for Training and Skills
    The Honourable Yvette D'Ath

    Ladder safety matters – don’t let this be your last step

    Attorney-General and Minister for Justice and Minister for Training and Skills
    The Honourable Yvette D'Ath

    Tuesday, September 13, 2016

    Ladder safety matters – don’t let this be your last step

    Older Queensland men are being encouraged to rethink the way they use ladders as part of a new national education campaign.

    Attorney-General and Minister for Justice Yvette D’Ath said across Australia, about 1,600 men aged over 65 were hospitalised annually with ladder-related injuries, with most occurring while doing DIY and maintenance work at home.

    “I know many older Queensland men take great pride in home maintenance,” said Mrs D’Ath.

    Using a ladder around the home is something they’ve done for decades, but re-thinking the risks involved is what this campaign is all about.

    “A ladder fall can have a lasting impact on both the injured person and their family, and often the consequences of a fall go far beyond the injuries themselves.

    “Many men have difficulty adjusting to life after a fall, where they are less mobile, less independent and less able to do their own maintenance and DIY work.

    “Research indicates older men suffer a heavy sense of loss at not being able to help out around the house, and this would be felt particularly among Queensland men used to being outdoors.

    “The burden on families can also be significant, with family members leaving employment to care for fall victims, or returning to work to be able to afford the professional ongoing care needed.”

    The campaign, led by the Queensland Office of Fair Trading, features the stories of three ladder fall victims, and chronicles their fall, recovery and life after their ladder injury.

    Campaign spokesperson Dr Owen Roodenburg, Head of the Trauma Intensive Care Unit at The Alfred Hospital in Melbourne, said almost every ladder injury was preventable.

    “Often it’s a split-second decision, something the man knows is a risky shortcut, that lands them in hospital,” Dr Roodenburg said.

    “Of those admitted to hospital, one third need intensive care. Shockingly, a quarter of these intensive care patients die, and of those who do survive, over half are not well enough to live at home after 12 months.

    “The figures show just how serious a fall from a ladder can be, and should be a sobering reminder for older Aussie men to stop and think before doing something risky on a ladder.

    “It’s very important to maintain three points of contact at all times and not overreach.”

    Following some simple ladder safety tips can drastically reduce the risk of injury:

    • Choose the right ladder for the job
    • Don’t work in wet or windy conditions
    • Take time to set up your ladder
    • Work safely up the ladder
    • Have another person hold the ladder
    • Know your limits and work to your ability

    For more information and to watch the stories of ladder fall victims Mick, John and Paul, visit www.productsafety.gov.au/laddersafetymatters.

    The campaign is a joint initiative of all Australian Consumer Law regulators, including the Queensland Office of Fair Trading, and the Victorian Department of Health and Human Services.

    Media Contact: 0417 272 875