It is so refreshing in this day of mind numbing political correctness to find not just an individual, but an entire organization willing to buck the trend and develop a safe haven; a place where the thought police are defied, men can be men, women can be women, and idiots, morons, boobs, dip-wads and nimnals can be shamed and mocked for their abject stupidity. And when that shaming of idiots, morons, boobs, dip-wads and nimnals is in the noble cause of awareness and safety training, everybody wins.

Except of course, the idiots, morons, boobs, dip-wads and nimnals who do not pay attention to the message.

Idiots on Ladders” is the brainchild of the Ladder Association, an organization in the United Kingdom dedicated to education and safety regarding ladder selection and use. Formerly the British Ladder Manufacturers’ Association (BLMA), it “aims to set a new agenda for the ladder industry in the UK.” The BLMA was formed in 1947 by the major ladder manufacturers of the day. Today, the Ladder Association “welcomes members from every part of the access industry, advances best practice and plays an integral role in promoting the highest standards of ladder design and manufacture.”

The “Idiots on Ladders” contest is the pivotal promotion supporting the Association’s annual Ladder Exchange, designed to identify and remove unsafe ladders from homes and workplaces across the pond. It encourages people to submit photographs of people using ladders in an unsafe manner, and allow us all to learn while we bask in the warming glow of their jaw dropping idiocy. According to the Ladder Association website, “When it comes to working at height, just as important as getting the right equipment is knowing how to use it. The Ladder Exchange means nothing if people take their new ladders home and start balancing on them on one leg, so Idiots on Ladders is on a mission to shame the worst.”

Beautiful. Just bloody beautiful.

It is a first rate promotion, with a website dedicated to the Ladder Exchange, as well as a Facebook page that you absolutely must peruse. The many pictures there will astound and amaze, and for those of us in the workplace injury management and safety business, it will probably make you a bit queasy. Take your blood pressure medicine first.

If only we could have similar campaigns here in the United States for similar work equipment. In addition to “Idiots on Ladders”, we could have “Dumbasses with Dollies”, “Morons on Machinery”, “Losers in Lifting” and “F**k Ups on Forklifts”. Sadly, however, here in the United States we have been largely neutered by the PC thought police, so even “Idiots with Ladders” would probably have to be called “People With Potentially Acceptable Intellectual Capacity Possibly But Not Definitively Failing To Deploy Available Mental Resources And Appropriate Cognitive Analysis During The Deployment And Utilization Of Elevation Enhancing Equipment”.

Frankly, that just loses something in translation. I suppose we really are two countries separated by a common language, not to mention common sense.


Pictures republished with permission.

The Ladder Association –

The Ladder Exchange –

Ladder Association on Facebook –


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