Ladder Safety: What’s Your Plan?

Ladders are useful tools, but safety should be top of mind before you climb


ROSEMONT, Ill. (April 20, 2016)  Using a ladder for spring cleaning? Climbing on a ladder may be the most dangerous thing you do all year. More than 500,000 ladder-related injuries required medical treatment in 2014, according to the U.S. Consumer Products Safety Commission, and more than 20,000 people received emergency care for a foot or ankle injury after falling from a ladder.
Make sure you aren’t a statistic this year. Follow these simple safety tips, including wearing the right shoes: 
  • Set up your ladder according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Your ladder should have warnings printed on it and in the manual.
  • Clean and dry your ladder before use. Grease, water and wet paint are hazardous.
  • Stand below the marked level. Climbing higher than recommended makes the ladder unstable.
  • Wear lace-up shoes or boots with a good tread. Never wear open-toe shoes or sandals, even if you think you’ll be on the ladder for just a second. Shoes with laces and a nonslip tread provide the most support and stability. 
There’s more advice waiting for you online. Read the article How to Use a Ladder Safely at, the patient education site of the American Orthopaedic Foot & Ankle Society (AOFAS), and listen to a radio ad on ladder safety from the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons. Together, these organizations are working to reduce ladder injuries across the country.
About the AOFAS
promotes quality, ethical and cost-effective patient care through the education, research and training of orthopaedic surgeons and other health care providers. The Society creates public awareness for the prevention and treatment of foot and ankle disorders, provides leadership, and serves as a resource for government and industry as well as the national and international health care communities.

About Orthopaedic Foot and Ankle Surgeons
Orthopaedic foot and ankle surgeons are medical doctors (MD and DO) who specialize in the diagnosis and treatment of musculoskeletal disorders and injuries of the foot and ankle. Orthopaedic foot and ankle surgeons use medical, physical and rehabilitative methods as well as surgery to treat patients of all ages. Relying on four years of medical school training, five years of post-graduate training and often a fellowship in foot and ankle care, orthopaedic foot and ankle surgeons perform reconstructive procedures, treat sports injuries, and manage foot and ankle trauma. 

Jennifer Hicks
Director of Public Education
Office: 847-430-5079