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ACC: Wellingtonians warned not to become sidelined by a fall

ACC: Wellingtonians warned not to become sidelined by a fall

Falls in the home disrupted the lives and livelihoods of over 9,650 people aged between 25 and 64 years in the Wellington-Wairarapa region last year.

Many of those affected were off work for weeks and had difficulty caring for their families.

The statistics were released today by the Accident Compensation Corporation (ACC) to coincide with the launch of Safety Week.

In Wellington City alone, 3,750 people aged 25 to 64 years were injured in home falls. In Lower Hutt City, the figure was 1,924 and in Upper Hutt, 741. In the same age bracket, 1,116 people were injured in home falls in Porirua City and 1,154 on the Kapiti Coast.

ACC’s General Manager Insurance and Prevention Services, Keith McLea, says it’s commonly believed that only younger and older people fall at home but the statistics tell a different story.

Working age people account for 41 percent of ACC claims for home falls and 60 percent of the cost.

“This is a time of life when people are at their most active and productive and usually have family responsibilities. Therefore an injury can have far-reaching consequences.”

Dr McLea says Safety Week aims to get the message across that a fall in the home can really ruin your plans. That could mean missing out on a planned trip, family occasion or a certain upcoming sporting event.

“We don’t want you to mess up your plans, so take care and be careful at home. The Rugby World Cup is nearly here and we want you to be able to watch the All Blacks win from the stands or the comfort of your couch rather than a hospital bed.”

Nationally more than 261,000 people were injured in a fall at home, costing $272 million.

Most falls happen when people are doing everyday things like walking up or down steps, rushing to answer the phone or working on a DIY project. The most common place to take a tumble was the garden with 78,000 people nationally falling outside the home. The bathroom was one of the most dangerous rooms inside the home, with 11,000 people nationally hurt after slipping.

Safety Week runs from 15 to 21 August. This year the focus is specifically on reducing falls in the home.

Falls – the facts and stats

* There were over 261,000 claims for falls in the home in 2010.
* The cost of falls in the home was $272 million.
* Falls made up over 40 percent of home injuries.
* There were over 107,000 claims for falls in the home made by 25 to 64 year olds.
* The cost of falls for 25-64 year olds was $164 million – $68 million of which was weekly compensation.
* Over 3,000 people were off work for more than three 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.
* Last year over 15,000 people in New Zealand were seriously hurt falling down the stairs at home.
* Last year over 2,500 people in New Zealand were seriously hurt from a fall indoors on a wet floor.
* Last year over 78,000 people in New Zealand were injured from a fall outside the home.

For more information visit http://www.homesafety.co.nz.

© Scoop Media

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