Ladder Exchange 2012
1 September - 30 November 2012

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New online campaign asks: Who is the biggest idiot on a ladder?

A man climbing a tree with a chainsaw, propping himself up on a branch; a hedge trimmer reaching higher by sitting a stepladder on top of another ladder; a worker dealing with a storefront on a ladder held up by a colleague. These bizarre sights can be found all around the world, and the Ladder Association is currently attempting to collect the most appalling examples in one place.

Over the last month, the Association has been using its Facebook channel to collect pictures of the most dangerous and ridiculous uses of ladders, in a bid to find the biggest "Idiot on a Ladder".

The campaign - running alongside the Association's Ladder Exchange which offers people discounts for trading in their old, unsafe ladders for new ones - aims to promote safe ladder use, shame negligent users, and encourage training for those who use ladders at work.

Cameron Clow, Chairman of the Ladder Association, said: "This campaign has been great for showing the amount of unsafe and dangerous ladder use going on every day. We began the search for pictures at the start of September, and the images we have received since then have proved that this kind of misuse is unfortunately happening far too regularly.

"Thousands of people are seriously injured through falls from height every year - these images might appear humourous to some, but the potentially life threatening outcome of these situations going wrong is no laughing matter. Through this campaign we hope to encourage training by showing the worst of what can happen without it, and shaming people who attempt to work in a ludicrously unsafe manner to change their ways. Ladders are a safe piece of equipment for working at height, if they are selected and used in a competent manner."

One recent picture particularly emphasised this, with a ladder resting on top of a hastily put together mobile tower and a man climbing it with an unattached harness. The setup looked out-dated to say the least, but in fact the picture was only first released on October 8th this year.

Equally, the image currently tied for the most popular position came from a newspaper report published as recently as July. It shows a gardener up a tree, one foot on his ladder and the other on a branch, with both hands holding a chainsaw. The picture had led to him being fined 6,000.

The search for Idiots on Ladders will continue parallel to the Ladder Exchange until the end of November, with the winning picture which receives the most "Likes" on Facebook to be announced on December 3rd. New pictures can still be sent through the means outlined on the Ladder Association website (, while the album of images can be found on the Association's Facebook page ()


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