The results are in, and after receiving more entries than ever before, the Ladder Association’s Idiots on Ladders contest has ended and this year’s “biggest idiot on a ladder” has been crowned.
The winning Idiots on Ladders picture received nearly 60 percent more votes than its two joint runners-up. It showed two men inside the bucket of an excavator, which was already around 20 feet off the ground, with one of them footing the ladder in the bucket so the other could climb to the top.
“This year the public sent in more pictures of people working dangerously at height than ever before, and some of the pictures were among the most unbelievable we have seen,” admitted Michael Fern, the communications and social media officer for the Ladder Association, which is the trade body responsible for advancing safety and best practice in the ladder industry, and oversees the delivery of national training in the UK.
“Idiots on Ladders is a great reminder of the importance of training. Its message is clear – if you are using a ladder you must make sure that you are competent, otherwise you really are taking your life in your hands,” warned Fern.
The success of Idiots on Ladders mirrored a record-breaking year for the Ladder Exchange, which traded over 15 percent more ladders than in the previous year, continuing its three straight years of growth since being taken over by the Ladder Association in 2012.
Every year the Idiots on Ladders contest is run online as part of the Ladder Exchange. Idiots on Ladders shows the importance of training and competence, while the Ladder Exchange itself helps people ensure they are using safe equipment by allowing people and businesses to trade in ladders – regardless of their condition – for new ones at a discount.
The Ladder Association is already planning for the 2015 Ladder Exchange, which will take place in the fall. All of the tips and guidance produced for the 2014 Exchange are still available on its web site. The full Idiots on Ladders picture galleries from the past three years can be found on the Ladder Association Facebook page.
Despite a steady decline, falls from height remain the most common kind of workplace fatality. In 2010-11, a total of 38 workers died and 4,327 employees suffered a major injury in the UK as a result of a fall from height in the workplace, with a further 10,232 employees suffering an injury that requires at least three days away from work. Many of these incidents could have been avoided with the right training using the correct equipment that had been properly inspected and maintained.
All photos are used with permission from the Ladder Association.