Fall arrest systems for fixed ladders are now common in industry. Combined with a fixed lifeline, a fall decelerator and an appropriate harness it easy to be protected from the time you step on the first rung until your back on the ground. When these devices were first introduced in industrial environments there was much squawking about lost time, productivity as well as regulatory enforcement. As people acclimated to the systems lost time is often mitigated by an increase in productivity because of user comfort and confidence. In other words; what was once a tense white knuckle climb is now a simple routine that probably won’t cost you your life. A decrease in insurance rates also brought down business expenses. Enforcement turned out to be no brainer because both the enforcement agency (OSHA) and the workers both have the same interest; everyone wants to go home safe at the end of the day. It’s the same as seat belts in automobiles, a few decades after being introduced only the stupidest of the stupid don’t use them, people use them because they don't want to die not because they fear being fined.
These devises and methods just need to be further adopted by the hunters and the hunting industry. There also need to be a renewed effort by tree stand manufacturers to produce safer tree stands. The fact that stand ladder sections are only held together by friction is unacceptable, there is very little cost in adding pins or bolts to ladders. I could go on and on but you get the point.