Press Release – Accident Compensation Corporation
University home hazard study will help shape prevention initiatives
Otago University research into accidents in the home will add weight to future injury prevention initiatives, says ACC Insurance and Prevention General Manager John Beaglehole.
The study looked at 1328 home injuries involving 1612 people that were reported to ACC between 2006 and 2009. It found that structural hazards, such as incompletely fenced driveways and poor lighting, contributed to 38 per cent of the injuries.
“Accidents in an around the home are the leading cause of injuries in New Zealand. They easily outstrip injuries caused by sport and road crashes,” said Mr Beaglehole.
“More than 600,000 ACC claims are made for home injuries every year, with around 280,000 injuries attributed to falls.
“The more we know about the causes of home injuries, the better placed we are to come up with ways to tackle them, so ACC welcomes informative research such as this study carried out by Otago University.”
The University of Otago study, which was jointly funded by the Health Research Council and ACC, has been published in the international journal Accident Analysis and Prevention.
Mr Beaglehole said the study emphasises the benefits of different agencies and organisations working together to solve the issue of injuries in New Zealand.
“There are many agencies working hard on ways to prevent accidents, and we need everyday Kiwis to play their part too,” says John.
John adds that “It can be hard convincing Kiwis that there are injury risks in the home, because home is where we instinctively feel safe and secure.
“However there are some pretty straightforward safety tips that people can follow around the home to significantly reduce the risk of accidents,” he said.
ACC safety tips for around the home:
• Wipe up puddles and spills on the floor immediately, to prevent slipping over
• Clear away clutter and toys from the floor, especially in walkways
• Make sure there’s easy access to light switches from the bed, so you won’t be in the dark if you need to get up at night
• Clean moss from garden paths
• Install outdoor lighting if possible, to make it safer to come and go from the home at night.
• Over 7000 people were injured falling on a mossy path, step or driveway at home last year
• Over 350 people were injured tripping over power cords at home in 2011
• Almost 5000 people were injured tripping over rugs and mats at home in 2011
• Over 7,500 people in 2011 were injured after falling while climbing on a chair at home to reach a high object
• Over 18,000 people were injured slipping on a wet floor at home in 2011
• Last year, several thousand people were injured on paths and driveways
For more information, visit www.homessafety.co.nz