America’s Most Dangerous Tool: Don’t Get Maimed in the Name of Home Improvement

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A recent report from home-improvement site Porch reveals how DIYers most commonly injure themselves. Researchers analyzed data from the National Electronic Injury Surveillance System, which collects statistics on injuries associated with consumer products from U.S. hospital emergency departments across the country. From that, they were able to see the home improvement tools responsible for the most injuries, thereby giving us the list of the most dangerous tools in America.

Most dangerous tool: the ladder

We weren’t surprised to find that ladders top the list of most dangerous tools, with an estimated 193,815 injuries per year treated in hospital emergency rooms. Ladders are used in a wide variety of home improvement projects … although they seem rather simple to use.

However, J.B. Sassano, president of home-repair franchise Mr. Handyman, says there are plenty of opportunities for ladder mishaps—like if the ladder is not placed on firm, level ground.

A ladder that’s too short or simply placed too far from what’s needed can force the person using to overreach and lose their balance.

“And some people use the top rung as a step—but you should never step on the top,” Sassano warns.

So what are your chances to going to the ER as the result of a ladder-related injury? The data says it’s about 1 in 1,680. And the parts of your body that are most likely to suffer harm from a ladder fall? Your head, torso, lower arms, and lower legs.