Bad Luck: Ladder Injuries Climbing

You see the warnings whenever you climb a ladder. But do you heed them? Apparently, a lot of people don't.

Ladders cause more than 136,000 injuries a year in the United States, according to the first comprehensive study on the topic. And the number is climbing. From 1990 to 2005, ladder-related injuries rose by more than 50 percent.

The finding is reported in the May issue of the American Journal of Preventive Medicine.

“Individuals using ladders are often not mindful of the severe risks associated with use,” said the study’s co-author Lara Trifiletti of Columbus Children’s Hospital and an assistant professor at the Ohio State University College of Medicine. “Increased public health initiatives that target men and women, especially of working age, could help reduce the number of ladder-related injuries.”

Nearly 77 percent of the injuries were to males. Broken bones are the most common injury.

“Ladders should be treated with the same respect and caution as any potentially dangerous tool, such as a power saw," said Trifiletti's colleague and co-author, Gary Smith.