Accidents hit Bay area hard

By Teuila Fuatai


Injuries from falls in the Bay of Plenty cost about $8 million each year.


ACC figures show that of the 62,400 claims made last year by Western Bay injury victims, nearly one-in-five were fallers. St John Ambulance central region operations manager Grant Pennycook said injury numbers also tended to jump at certain times during the year.


"Some types of accidents are seasonal and increase during holiday periods when people are outdoors and involved in different activities or travelling away." He said driving during school holidays also carried added risks.


Bay of Plenty injuries cost taxpayers about $50 million last year. About 10 per cent of the cost covered nearly 8000 injuries in which people hurt themselves while lifting or carrying.


But while falls and lifting were the two most common causes of injuries in the region, the Western Bay is still below the national average.


Across New Zealand falls make up about 40 per cent of all ACC claims.


This week is national Safety Week, and ACC is campaigning to reduce the injury tally.

ACC general manager, insurance and prevention services, John Beaglehole said the cost of all injuries nationwide was about $10.4 billion each year, including social and economic cost.


About 1.5 million new injury claims were lodged with ACC annually, Mr Beaglehole said.


He warned that Kiwis needed a more serious approach to safe-proofing their homes and workplaces.


ACC has launched a campaign promoting simple tips to make people's homes safer. These include securing power cords, fastening rugs and mats and wiping up spills. An anti-moss campaign encouraging people to clean up their decks and outdoor areas has also been launched as part of safety week.


WHO department of violence and injury prevention director Dr Etienne Krug said injuries caused ongoing problems for people, families and communities.


"The cost is huge, particularly because injuries kill and maim mainly young people."


Painful cost


Top injury causes for the Western Bay area in 2011: 1. Loss of balance or control (falls) Tauranga City Claims: 10,656 Cost: $7,059,717


Western Bay District:


Claims: 1407 Cost: $1,227,259 2. L


ifting/Carrying/Strain


Tauranga City


Claims: 7001 Cost: $3,912,113


Western Bay District:


Claims: 792 Cost: $651,981 3.


Twisting Movement


Tauranga City


Claims: 5656 Cost: $3,527,410


Western Bay District:


Claims: 764 Cost: $538,330


Western Bay Total:


Claims: 62,406 Cost: $40,613,168 - Source: ACC

- BAY OF PLENTY TIMES

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