Friday, March 24, 2017

Each year in the U.S., more than 500,000 people are treated and about 300 people die from ladder-related injuries.

It’s National Ladder Safety Month

Posted on by Peter Simeonov, PhD, and Sydney Webb, PhD
March is the first-ever National Ladder Safety Month. Each year in the U.S., more than 500,000 people are treated1 and about 300 people die2 from ladder-related injuries. The estimated annual cost of ladder injuries in the U.S. is $24 billion, including work loss, medical, legal, liability, and pain and suffering expenses1. Data analysis from three surveillance systems in 2011 showed that workers who are male, Hispanic, older, self-employed, work in smaller establishments, and work in construction, maintenance, and repair experience higher rates of falls from ladders3. It is evident from these numbers that ladder-related falls are a serious problem and that there is a need to reduce the resulting injury and death.

The goals for the inaugural National Ladder Safety Month observance, sponsored by the American Ladder Institute, are to heighten awareness, reinforce safety training, and educate homeowners and workers. For more information about this safety observance, visit the National Ladder Safety Month website.

The campaign’s four weekly focus areas include:
  • March 1 – 11: Overall Importance of Ladder Safety
  • March 12 – 18: Ladder Safety at Work
  • March 19 – 25: Ladder Safety at Home
  • March 26 – April 1: Ladder Inspection and Disposal
The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) has a broad program addressing falls in the workplace including the award-winning Ladder Safety App. You can read more about the app on the blog post Ladder Safety: There’s an App for That and the follow-up blog NIOSH Ladder Safety App Evolves with User Feedback. Make sure to follow NIOSH on social media throughout the month for safety tips and info to share with workers. You may also be interested in our new Ladder Safety app infographic and postcard to share with your employer and co-workers.
We want to hear from you! What are you doing to raise awareness about ladder safety in your organization this week?

Peter Simeonov, PhD, is a Research Safety Engineer in the Protective Technology Branch in the NIOSH Division of Safety Research.
Sydney Webb, PhD, is a Health Communications Specialist in the NIOSH Division of Safety Research.


  1. CPSC (US Consumer Product Safety Commission) [2014]. Unpublished data from the National Injury Information Clearinghouse (CPSC) using the CPSC’s Injury Cost Model.
  2. CDC, National Center for Health Statistics [2017]. Multiple Cause of Death 1999-2015 on CDC WONDER Online Database. Accessed at
  3. Socias C., Chaumont Men̩ndez C, Collins J, Simeonov P [2014]. Occupational Ladder Fall Injuries РUnited States, 2011. MMWR 63(16), April 25, 2014; 341-346.