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Two different types of ladders

Ladders are part of most home garages and work sheds. But if the ladder is not in good condition or is used inappropriately falls can occur and cause:

  • fractured limbs
  • spinal cord damage 
  • severe brain injury
  • death.

You only have to fall from 1–2 metres off a ladder to suffer serious injuries or death.

Injury case studies

Date commenced: 9th February 2010
Death and serious injuries can occur from using ladders inappropriately or using them when they're in poor condition.


On average, 19.4 Australians — mainly men — die each year after falling from a ladder.

The Australian National Coroners Information System indicates:

  • most people who died after falling from ladders were over 50 years old
  • 32 per cent  of deaths were in the 70-79 year age group 
  • 96 per cent of fatalities were male 
  • over 85 per cent of deaths occur in non-occupational activities  
  • 34 per cent of these deaths occur during home maintenance activities.

Most men injured or killed after falling from a ladder were at or nearing retirement age and were doing maintenance around the home.

Ladder injury occurs in an older age group than DIY injuries in general — the peak age for DIY injuries is 30-34 years.

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