In response to increasing ladder-related falls in the community, the Diamond Creek Men’s Shed has come up with a novel solution: the Keeping Men Grounded project.
Every year in Victoria, over 2,600 people are hospitalised as a result of falling from a ladder at home. Of these, approximately three quarters are men, often sustaining bone fractures and catastrophic head and spinal injuries. About nine older men die each year as a result of falling from a ladder while doing home maintenance, and most ladder falls are among males aged 75-84 years.
To prevent ladder falls in their local community, the Diamond Creek Men’s Shed initiated Keeping Men Grounded which provides an alternative means for completing household tasks normally requiring ladders. The project focuses on providing gutter cleaning equipment and other high-reach tools, to enable men to complete tasks safety from the ground. They also provide a gutter cleaning service to vulnerable members of their community.
The Ladder Safety Matters community awareness campaign was also launched at the Diamond Creek Men’s Shed in October 2016 and has turned into an annual community safety message. This campaign includes 3 video case studies of men who have suffered life-long injuries as a result of a ladder fall. One of these is Mick Hall, a member of the Diamond Creek Men’s Shed, who was treated at the Austin Hospital.
To support Mick and to prevent further ladder falls in their local community, the Diamond Creek Men’s Shed is working with the Victorian Men’s Shed Association to enable other Men’s Sheds in Victoria to emulate the Keeping Men Grounded project.
Members can also provide talks to local community groups to raise awareness of ladder safety. If you know of a community group that would like a ladder safety talk please contact the Diamond Creek Men’s Shed via email or phone Leigh on 0400 009 041.Submit your story!