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Kiwis challenged to change their injury forecasts this week

14 October 2013

Kiwis challenged to change their injury forecasts this week

Today is the start of ‘Safety Week 2013’, and ACC is challenging Kiwis to prove that when it comes to injuries, what’s happened before doesn’t have to happen again!

Each day for the next seven days, ACC will issue national and regional injury ‘forecasts’, predicting likely injuries linked to sports and recreation; alcohol and steps and stairs – along with simple tips on how to avoid these injuries.

The forecasts will be based largely on claim statistics from the corresponding week in October over the past five years.

An online, ‘personal injury forecast’ tool will also be available at

The online tool will enable Kiwis to calculate their own individual injury risk, based on factors such as their age, sex, what sports they play, whether they drink alcohol and whether they have steps or stairs at work or home. Plus it will offer tips on how to reduce the risk of injury.

ACC’s General Manager of Insurance and Prevention Services, John Beaglehole, says the injury forecasts – which will mimic weather forecasts on TV and radio, and will also appear in regional papers – are intended to “engage, not alarm”.

“We’ve based the forecasts on actual claim statistics, but obviously predicting injuries isn’t quite as exact as predicting the weather. So our main aim is that the forecasts make people think about how easily injuries can happen, and also how easy it can be to prevent injuries.”

This year, over 1,500 businesses and other organisations have partnered with ACC, to help share Safety Week messages with customers and staff.

“It’s great to have so many partners on-board, helping us bring Safety Week to life in the community. We’re providing partners with a range of resources to help them do this, and many are also coming up with their own creative ways to share Safety Week messages.”

Mr Beaglehole says Safety Week this year is focusing on injuries linked to sports and recreation, alcohol, and steps and stairs because each year, these factors are involved in many injuries.

“We’re certainly not telling Kiwis to avoid these things. Sports play a hugely positive role in our lives, and alcohol needn’t be harmful if used responsibly. And it’s hard to imagine a world without steps or stairs!

“So we’re just asking Kiwis to be mindful of the risks when playing sports, enjoying a drink or walking up the stairs, and take a few simple steps to reduce their risk of injury. That way they can enjoy the positives, without experiencing the downsides.”

Mr Beaglehole says the following tips will help Kiwis avoid the injuries being highlighted during Safety Week 2013:

Sport and recreation

Kiwis love their sport, and staying active is important - but you don't want an injury to stop you from being active. To reduce the risk of injury:

Warm up and cool down
Participate in a variety of activities for aerobic fitness, strength and flexibility
Match your fitness level to the activity - if you're trying something new, ease into it
Use the right gear for the activity and conditions
Treat injuries early to minimise your time away from the activity you love.

Steps and stairs

These cause lots of injuries. To change your injury forecast:

Ensure steps and stairs are well lit and free of clutter
Focus on where you're stepping
Don't rush, especially on wet or slippery stairs.


The more you drink in one session, the more likely you are to hurt yourself or someone else. To reduce alcohol-related injuries:

Pace yourself with non-alcoholic drinks, and have something substantial to eat
Plan how much you're going to drink tonight
Look out for yourself and your mates.


© Scoop Media

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