Caverion Improves Employee Awareness of Ladder Accidents

Ladder accidents are not uncommon in working life, and 40 percent of all ladder falls occur from low heights. Using a personalized mailing campaign, Caverion Deutschland GmbH made its employees acutely aware of the problem, while informing them how to prevent such accidents in the future. Through its initiative, the company secured itself the DEKRA Award 2017 for the category “Safety at Work”.

Using a personalized infomail, Caverion Deutschland GmbH effectively prevented accidents when using ladders. Photo: Norbert Böwing

Ladder accidents happen quickly and have serious consequences

Stepladder falls from a height of one-to-two meters are among the accidents with the most serious consequences. Three out of every four people affected end up with severe injuries – often of a life-changing nature. It all happens so quickly: The victim is unable to roll up to protect themselves, and often land on either their head or spine. Having experienced six employee injuries across six incidents within three months, Caverion Deutschland GmbH knew that something had to be done. The mailing campaign, which the company initiated after these accidents, addressed each and every technician individually. In an informational letter, one affected employee detailed how a fall from a ladder almost cost him his life, and left him incapacitated for months. Statistical analyses of accident types in relation to the height of fall added background to the employee’s personal words, as did an x-ray image of a bone fractured in a ladder fall.

DEKRA Award 2017 – Safety at work | Caverion from DEKRA on Vimeo.

“We wanted to harness maximum attention from our colleagues,” states Marketing and Communications Director Holger Winkelsträter as the underlying intention of the extraordinary campaign. “For this reason, we attached important facts and a code of conduct to the individually formulated letter.” The poignant statement by the experienced colleague, whose 35 years of job experience were unable to protect him from the fall, should have an especially lasting effect. “We wanted to show how an accident can turn one’s life on its head in a single moment. Honest and personal, without dramatization. In this case, our colleague was extremely lucky. He suffered no permanent injury,” explains Winkelsträter.

So that all employees are constantly reminded of this risk, the cardboard ladder included in the mailing has been affixed to every new ladder acquired by the firm. Since the initiative, there have been no further ladder falls at Caverion.

Holger Winkelsträter, Marketing and Communications Director, Caverion Deutschland GmbH. Photo: Norbert Böwing

Testing organization DEKRA conveys the DEKRA Award for outstanding performances in each of three categories: “Safety on the Road,” “Safety at Work,” and “Safety in the Home.” The focus of the accolade is not products themselves, rather best practices. More information regarding the DEKRA Award can be found at

The winner in the category “Safety on the Road”:

German Road Safety App: Better Road Safety for All

The winner in the category “Safety in the Home”:

Pflasterpass Initiative: Playful First-Aid Teaching for Kids


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