Accidents in the home cost 12 lives a week: ACC

Twelve New Zealanders are dying each week from accidents in their homes with alcohol a significant factor, according to the latest statistics from the Accident Compensation Corporation.
Released as part of Safety NZ Week, the statistics show there were 621 deaths in homes last year due to accidents, averaging just under 12 per week.
The deaths are part of the 632,920 injuries in the home in 2009, down from 664,334 in 2008, with many due to falls and trips.
ACC injury prevention manager Keith McLea said prevention was often straight forward.
``The reality is something as simple as remembering to flick the light switch on when you use the stairs can help you avoid a fall.''
The cost of the accidents was financial as well as emotional, he said.
``Home accidents take an incredible toll on families and friends, workplaces, and communities, and they are costing us all. Last year New Zealanders paid out $622 million through their ACC levies for the treatment and rehabilitation of people injured in the home.''
Mr McLea said ACC estimated alcohol to be a factor in nearly one quarter of all ACC claims.
``As 70 per cent of drinking occasions happen at home, it's fair to assume that alcohol contributes to a significant number of home injuries. Drinking alcohol makes people particularly vulnerable to falls.''
ACC Minister Nick Smith said ladders were another common danger.
``Last year in New Zealand 5400 people were injured while using a ladder at home. That's 104 every week or 15 a day.''
He said people needed to pay more attention to safety at home.
``Injury prevention starts in the home.

If we all take simple steps to ensure where we live is safe, then we reduce the risk of accidents and injuries.''
The statistics revealed that there more than 17,000 accidents in bathrooms each year, 87 stair-related accidents every day, and 133 injuries per week to children from running through glass or falling from windows.
 

- HAWKES BAY TODAY

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