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Falls cost New Zealanders millions each year

Falls cost New Zealanders millions each year

Home injuries cost New Zealanders $537 million last year, says the Associate Minister for ACC, Hekia Parata.

This week is New Zealand Safety Week where the focus is on raising awareness of the extent and consequences of falls in the home.

Home injuries accounted for the highest proportion of new ACC claims - 612,000 - and the highest proportion of cost in 2010.

The most common causes of accidents in the home were slips, trips and falls.

More than 261,000 people were injured in falls at home last year, costing ACC $272 million.

"You might be surprised to learn that two thirds of those claims were made by people in the workforce and the cost to ACC of those falls was $164 million,'' says Ms Parata.

"We often assume it is older people and young children who fall but ACC injury statistics show that we are all susceptible to falls.

"These falls can have a significant impact on our lives."

Throughout the week ACC, with the support of over 800 businesses and community groups, is running an awareness campaign encouraging all New Zealanders to prevent falls in their homes.

"It's important to take care and be safe in your home," says Ms Parata.


Background info

Statistics
Based on 2010 stats (as at 3 January 2011)

Home
* The home accounted for the highest proportion of new claims (612,001 or 40 percent) and almost the highest proportion of cost ($537 million or 24 percent) in 2010.
* Around 460 people were injured while using a tool at home each week last year. That's nearly 3 people an hour.
* 70 people were injured on average every week by a lawnmower last year.
* Last year over 9,000 people in New Zealand were injured by a fall while gardening.
* Over 1,000 people were injured while using a chainsaw at home last year.

Falls
* There were 261,612 claims for falls in the home (17 percent of all new claims)
* The cost of falls in the home was $272 million (12 percent of all new claims)
* Falls made up over 40 percent of home injuries.

Working Age Population Falls
* It's not just older and younger people who fall at home. 25-64 year olds make up 41 percent of all home falls and account for 60 percent of the cost.
* There were over 107,000 claims for falls in the home made by 25-64 year olds.
* Over two thirds of these claims are made by people in the workforce.
* The cost of falls for 25-64 year olds was $164 million. $68 million of which was weekly compensation.
* Weekly compensation accounts for over 40 percent of the cost but only 7 percent of claims.
* Over 3,000 people were off work for more than 3 months as a result of falls in the home.
* Almost 10,000 people were off work for more than a week as a result of home falls.

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