Paramedics issue warning after 12 hospitalised from ladder falls

Paramedics have put out a warning to take care on ladders during the storms after 12 people were hospitalised in 12 hours from falls.

Eleven men and one woman across the state were injured on Thursday, with many telling paramedics they had fallen while clearing gutters ahead of the storms.

Two of those incidents happened in Clunes.

A man aged in his 50s suffered back injuries while cleaning out gutters about 7.50am on Thursday. He was taken to Ballarat Base Hospital in a stable condition. 

Nearly two hours later, a man aged in his 60s was taken to Ballarat Base Hospital in a stable condition with head and back injuries.

The most seriously injured was a man aged in his 80s who suffered head and spinal injuries when he fell from a ladder at a property south of Bendigo.

He was flown by air ambulance helicopter to The Alfred Hospital in a critical condition.

Ambulance Victoria emergency management director Paul Holman fears more people will be injured in ladder falls as the storms move through.

“Unfortunately a fall from a ladder or the roof can easily cause death or result in life-changing injuries,” Mr Holman said.

“We know older people are more prone to falls. Nine of the 12 injured yesterday were aged over 50.

“It’s just not worth the risk climbing a ladder if you can avoid it. Consider getting a professional in to do the work.

“If your house has flood or storm damage, call the SES on 132 500.”

Paramedics also urge people not to drive through floodwaters.

“During the last major flooding in Victoria, Air Ambulance paramedics had to perform a number of rescues after people were stranded when they drove their car drove into floodwaters,” Mr Holman said. 

Accidents involving ladders on Thursday included:

7.51am: A man aged in his 50s has back injuries after he fell from a ladder in Clunes while cleaning out gutters. He was taken to Ballarat Base Hospital in a stable condition.

7.59am: A man aged in his 60s fell three metres from a ladder while cleaning gutters in Sandrinham. He has grazes and bruising and was taken to The Alfred Hospital in a stable condition.

8.51am: A man aged in his 60s has pelvis injuries after falling from a ladder while pruning a tree in Toorak. He was taken to The Alfred Hospital in a stable condition.

9.26am: A man aged in his 70s fell 1.5 metres from a ladder in Corio. He has fractures to vertebrae, ribs and his pelvis. He was initially taken to University Hospital Geelong and later transferred by road to The Alfred Hospital in a serious condition.

9.40am: A man aged in his 60s fell from a ladder while cleaning gutters in Clunes. He has head and back injuries and was taken to Ballarat Base Hospital in a stable condition.

1.30pm: A woman aged in her 70s fell from a ladder while climbing down after cleaning gutters. She has head injuries and was taken to Maroondah Hospital in a stable condition.

1.52pm: A man aged in his 80s fell from a ladder in Castlemaine while clearing out gutters. He has head and spinal injuries and was flown by air ambulance helicopter to The Alfred Hospital in a critical condition.

1.53pm: A man aged in his 30s fractured his leg when he fell about three metres from a ladder in Harkness. He was taken to Royal Melbourne Hospital in a stable condition.

6.04pm: A man aged in his 60s fractured his collarbone when he fell while cleaning out gutters in Whittlesea. He was taken to The Austin Hospital in a stable condition.

7.02pm: A man aged in his 80s has facial injuries after he fell two metres when a folding ladder collapsed at Hallam. He was taken to Dandenong Hospital in a stable condition.

7.17pm: A man aged in his 40s injured his back when he fell from a ladder while cleaning out gutters in Belgrave. He was taken to The Angliss Hospital in a stable condition. 

7.36pm: A man aged in his 40s has chest and pelvis injuries after he fell from the shed roof while cleaning gutters in Inverloch. He was flown by air ambulance helicopter to Royal Melbourne Hospital in a serious condition.