According to a study by the Canadian Institute for Health Information (CIHI), the number of injury cases due to ladder accidents in London is more than double than that of Toronto's and is only slightly lower than that of northern Ontario.
The study, released yesterday, reveals the seriousness of the issue with the data showing 8,366 Ontarians visiting hospital emergency departments after ladder accidents, an average of 23 a day, last year.
The institute reveals that in Ontario and Canada, falls are the major cause of hospitalization due to injuries.
Last week, a woman in Toronto died after falling off a ladder and a head injury.
'Often there are injuries in life we can't do much to prevent, but certainly this we can,' said Margaret Keresteci, manager of clinical registries at CIHI, who authored a report on ladder accidents and took a serious tumble herself 3 years back after committing three ladder do nots: climbing too high, reaching sideways and not anchoring herself with one hand.
'We tend to use ladders without thinking of the potential dangers,' she said
Dr. Gary Joubert, city head of emergency services, said, 'Falls from ladders are a problem in London, as well as people every winter falling off roofs shoveling snow.
'This time of the year people get up on ladders to blow leaves out of gutters and often fail to secure the ladder or harness themselves in case the ladder gives way,' he said.
According to the 2004 data from various hospitals across Ontario, 3,200 people ended up in emergency departments due to ladder accidents between late August and early December. An average of 30 people a day visited the hospital due to this cause in November.
Almost 50% of the people were of the age group 40-59 and men constituted 82% of them. The number of accidents at home account for 66% of the cases while those occurring at places like construction and industrial sites represented 18% of the cases. 43% of the cases had leg or ankle fractures while 30% had broken upper limbs.
Dr. Jean-Denis Yelle, head of trauma at the Ottawa Hospital, said most injuries are '100 percent preventable.' They range from wrist fractures to severe brain and spinal trauma, even death.'