An article on page two of the Chicago Tribune print version by Lisa Black popped out at me earlier this month. It was entitled: “Ladder safety, Step 1: Why not keep your feet on the ground?”
In it Ms. Black tells the story of getting a phone call from her husband. He broke his ankle rather badly falling off the roof and was calling from the driveway while awaiting an ambulance. He was attempting to clean the gutter but never made it. The ladder slid out from underneath him and as the article continued, he hung “…Tarzan-style, from the the gutter until he let go and hit the ground.”
While Googling “Dies while hanging Christmas lights” countless results were available which talked both about both falls as well as electrocutions. Max McGee, a star receiver for the Green Bay Packers died at age 75 due to a fall from a roof while cleaning leaves. “In 2011, men accounted for nearly 90 percent of the 888 deaths stemming from an accidental fall from a ladder or building, according to the National Safety Council.” is quoted from Ms. Black’s article.
An earlier study, the “first study to provide national estimates of fall-related injuries associated with holiday decorating or related activities…” was done by the CDC (Centers of Disease Control and Prevention) for the years 2000-2003.
From the CDC report: “..an estimated 17,465 persons were treated in U.S. hospital emergency departments (EDs) for holiday-decorating–related falls. Approximately 62% of those injured were aged 20–49 years; approximately 43% of injuries were caused by falls from ladders; and males were 40% more likely than females to be injured.” They stressed “Prevention strategies should focus on raising awareness about falls and promoting safety practices during the holiday season.” Statistics included activities involving decoration (string or removal) of outdoor lights. Click here to read more.
Lisa considers her husband lucky not to have been killed, paralyzed or in a coma. Her message struck home with us in the roofing industry. “As we enter the holiday season — when otherwise rational people take to their roofs in wind, rain or snow to string colorful lights — I offer advice: Hire a professional. And take care that they are insured.” The online version of the article is available by clicking here.
OK, men all want to show our bravery and abilities and are more prone to take risks than women are. There is nothing funny about the picture described above nor the stories of injuries and death. And yet it is all more too common that you may think. Why not let the professionals handle the task?
Call ZEO Roofing at 224-400-9500 to handle your seasonal decorations, whether stringing lights or removing and readying for storage! And when you need a professional roofing contractor to make necessary repairs or for a new re-roof come this spring, ZEO Roofing has you covered.