Make ladder safety a priority for DIY dads

Published Thursday, 02 September, 2021 at 04:01 PM

Attorney-General and Minister for Justice, Minister for Women and Minister for the Prevention of Domestic and Family Violence
The Honourable Shannon Fentiman

Show your DIY dad just how much you value him and his safety this Father’s Day and slip a ladder safety sticker into his card on Sunday.

Attorney-General and Minister for Justice Shannon Fentiman said that according to the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare, the vast majority of the 2,155 people hospitalised in 2016-17 after falling from ladders were men aged 65 and over. This is why it is an important reminder for dad to stop, think and put safety first before using a ladder.

“Dads, fathers, grandfathers and father-figures all play significant roles in our lives and this Father’s Day we want not just them, but all men to make safe choices when using a ladder to do jobs around the home,” Minister Fentiman said.

“Falls from ladders can result in fatal injuries or significant injuries that can have serious consequences including a long road to recovery and lasting side effects.

“The OFT has a wealth of ladder safety resources including the ladder safety brochure and enclosed safety sticker reminder to attach to a ladder at home.

“These are free and can be easily ordered from the OFT to include with a present or card, especially if you’re buying dad a new ladder or other home handyman tools. Dad will thank you for the thoughtful addition.” 

The Attorney-General said that if you are buying a new ladder, remember to always choose one that meets the voluntary Australian Standard.

“A ladder will be clearly labelled if it meets the standard. These are the only ladders you should buy,” Minister Fentiman said.

"And, if you plan to buy any other home DIY tools for dad this year, don’t give half a present.

“Things like power tools can be easily complemented with relevant safety equipment like goggles, gloves or steel-capped boots.” 

Minister Fentiman added whether you quickly need to change a light bulb or if you’re working on a big job like painting the house, cleaning your gutters or trimming a tree, always put your safety first.

“As part of the OFT’s online ladder safety resources there are videos showing the terrible impacts ladder falls have had on the lives of three Australians,” she said.

“In one, Mick explains how he was using two ladders to trim hedges. He knew the ladders were spaced too far apart but he was tired, and just wanted to get the job done.

“Subsequently, the ladders gave way and he fell, breaking four ribs, his neck, and fracturing five vertebrae. Recovery was long and slow, and not only physical.”

The OFT’s top ladder safety tips are:

  • Always read the safety warning.
  • If the ladder is old, check it for rust or corrosion and check that all the parts are intact and can lock securely in place.
  • Make sure it is the right height for the job and stable.
  • Never climb higher than second step from the top.
  • Have someone to hold it for increased stability.
  • Always work within an easy arm’s reach.

Visit for more information on safety around the home and yard, to watch the ladder safety videos or to order a copy of the ladder safety brochure.


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