We have said it many times but sometimes it has to come from someone else who has been in the actual situation. It doesn’t matter how many times we can say not to take risks with ladders, it takes someone with real life experience of a fall from a ladder to make the message truly sink in.
In 1993, Jason Anker went to work without a care in the world. He fell 10 feet off an unsecured ladder which paralyzed him from the waist down. Now, you might be thinking this could have been far worse, however the devastating effects that have followed, and continue right up to this day will certainly make you think twice before taking a risk on a ladder.
This inspirational video is a perfect lesson to anyone who takes risks with ladders intentionally. Never take a risk doing something you know is unsafe.
The consequences of the fall from the ladder changed Jason’s life. In the video he talks frankly about the situations he has faced since that fateful day in January 1993. Jason begins by talking about life in a wheelchair – having to learn how to manage going to the toilet – things he had taken for granted were suddenly having to be learnt again. His relationship breakdown, his young children – Jason had only been out of hospital for 1 day when his wife left him taking his two young children with her.
Unfortunately things got worse for Jason, he lost his home and turned to alcohol and drugs which almost cost him his life – he spent 5 months in a coma and came very close to his life support machine being switched off. He then had to rebuild every element in his life – learning how to get dressed, and how to talk and eat. He had problems with his short term memory and worst of all no one knew how to help him. Friends that had been there in the beginning could no longer help him and went their separate ways, his relationship with his parents became strained due to his alcohol use.
Eventually he did receive some compensation in 2005. However his life then turned to a frenzy of spending, nothing really meant anything to him and in wasn’t until 2008 he was approached by a complete stranger who asked him about the accident and encouraged him to speak out about it – something he had never done before. It was the start of his talks about health and safety.
Many workplaces health and safety talks are full of do’s and don’ts but Jason’s story is truly inspirational. Drawing on a totally avoidable accident which he knew was unsafe which lead him to fall 10 feet from a ladder and the effects this has had on his family and himself is a totally different experience. Many large construction companies now use his services to deliver a key health and safety message.
Always ensure you know what you are doing before using a ladder. What can seem like a fairly insignificant accident can have dramatic consequences.
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