CHART: Science and the dangers of ladders in Australia

Molly Meldrum at the ARIA Awards in 2014. Mark Nolan/WireImage

The older you are, the harder you fall.

Research published in the Australian and New Zealand Journal of Public Health shows there are about 5000 people injured in falls from ladders each year in Australia.

Men get hurt more often and those aged 60 or more likely to be seriously injured.

And the fall is more likely to happen at home (almost 80%) rather than at work.

The victims include Molly Meldrum, the former presenter of music TV show Countdown, who fell from a ladder while putting up Christmas decorations five years ago when he was aged 65. He recovered.

There were 41,092 falls from ladders in Australia requiring hospital treatment over the 10 years to June 2012, rising from 3,374 in 2002003 to 4,945 2011/12.

Over the 10 years, 226 died from ladder-related falls, with 186 (82.3%) were aged over 60 years.

This chart shows how more men than women tend to fall from ladders and those aged 60 or over are more often victims:

Source: Australian and New Zealand Journal of Public Health

The researchers says their study is the first to update national estimates of ladder-related falls in Australia since 2004-05.

“This study demonstrates the significant burden that ladder-related falls are continuing to have on the community, both in the occupational and domestic setting,” they write.

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