Rebecca Quilliam

Rebecca Quilliam is senior reporter at the APNZ News Service office in Wellington.

Winter injury mishaps revealed by ACC

Soup can be more dangerous than it looks, with ACC receiving claims from people burning their mouths on hot soup and injured feet from dropped cans of soup. File photo / Thinkstock
Soup can be more dangerous than it looks, with ACC receiving claims from people burning their mouths on hot soup and injured feet from dropped cans of soup. File photo / Thinkstock

Soup, slippers, umbrellas, heaters and firewood aren't as comforting on a cold winter's day as you'd like, with all also contributing to nasty injuries, the Accident Compensation Corporation warns.

The organisation has seen claims from people burning their mouths on hot soup, cut fingers from chopping up the soup ingredients, strains from lifting heavy soup pots and injured feet from dropped cans of soup.

There were also falls on spilled soup and skin burns caused by blender splash-back, ACC's general manager of insurance and prevention services John Beaglehole said.

The gentle slipper has also been blamed for winter woes, with a number of cold-toed New Zealanders spraining their backs while pulling the footwear on, while others were injured when they fell putting their slippers on.

More than a few claimants attributed accidents to wearing slippers that were too big, and others tripped over slippers that had been left lying around.

There were only a few umbrella-related injuries, but some people reported they were "spiked" while opening or closing their brolley, and others injured running into or tripping over umbrella stands, Mr Beaglehole said.

Heaters and firewood were associated with a much greater number of injuries.

"Kiwis burned almost every conceivable body part on heaters, with injuries occurring when people lifted, tripped over, 'backed into', sat on and fell asleep or dried themselves in front of heaters," Mr Beaglehole said.

Firewood was also a danger, with burns suffered while putting wood into the fire, cuts and grazes while chopping wood and sprains resulting from gathering and lifting the wood.

Unsurprisingly, slippery ice brought a number of New Zealanders to their knees between June and August last year, while others suffered sprains shovelling show, Mr Beaglehole said.

"During the cold winter months we typically spend more time at home, and that's where the most injuries happen in New Zealand.

"More than a third of the roughly 1.7 million claims that ACC receives each year are for injuries that happen in or around the home. When we're at home, we probably let our guard down a bit, and we don't think about safety as much as we might if we were at work or on the road," he said.

***************

Home safety tips:

* mop up drips from wet gear and other spills immediately, to prevent slipping;

* clear up toys and clutter, especially from walkways, to prevent tripping hazards;

* run power cords from heaters and other appliances along the wall if possible rather than "snaking" across the floor;

* make sure areas inside the home with high foot-traffic have easy access to light switches, so they can be well lit when it gets dark;

* replace broken light bulbs promptly;

* install outdoor lighting for paths and access ways; and

* clear moss, which is more prevalent in winter, from paths and walkways.

(source: ACC)

- APNZ

© Copyright 2014, APN New Zealand Limited

Assembled by: (static) on red akl_a2 at 20 Sep 2014 16:50:45 Processing Time: 929ms