According to a recent health and safety type report avocados are very dangerous.

They can also be very expensive at some times of the year but yes indeed, they can be nasty when treated badly.

I don't recall the exact number but it was something like about 420 injury incidents relating to avocados every average of about eight a week.

The crew at the ACC are not very happy about it for that is a lot of paperwork and a total cost of around $800,000 and all sparked by an otherwise pleasant and tasteful fruit.


But it's like a chainsaw, or a hammer and a nail or a ladder.

It all comes down to how you approach it.

I have been injured on two occasions by ill-planned ladderwork and injured on one occasion by a clumsily wielded hammer.

The nail was fine and the hammer was safe as houses, and the ladder had all the right parts in place.

It was the user who sparked the rush to the first aid kit...and in the case of one ladder tumble an emergency clinic.

One of the staff at the latter tutt-tutted when I told them how I'd come adrift from the thing and said they saw "too many ladder accidents".

Particularly in summer.

I felt justifiably chastened because yes, I had been careless and nonchalant about clambering up the thing to trim some high branches.


To the point where I failed to put the securing clip in place after swinging one half of it up to extend it.

Neat bruises though.

I told some little kids I'd come off a motorbike at a thousand miles an hour and they were impressed.


I have, however, never had to strap dressings around my hands or fingers after an avocado incident.

Namely because I don't attempt to de-nut them...or de-kernel them...whatever that large stone-like thing at the centre of them is called.

Probably a stone, but I digress.

It seems a lot of people have been coming off second best in the act of taking that thing out.

They apparently grip the avocado and slice into it and around it, and then stab themselves when it comes to trying to remove the rock-like core part.

Instead of making a circular cut and twisting the two ends apart.

I think that's what the experts do.

The safety message does not get through though, and yep, according to statistics about eight people a week are poking knives into themselves in the act of preparing an avocado sandwich or filling or whatever you do with them.

My health and safety advice is simple, and unquestionably effective if one wants to maintain, unpunctured and healthy hands.

Get someone else to do it.

This is the season of the avocado and their like.

For we are in the height of summer.

When it reaches 27C you know the sun is at its most productive.

Although if my memory serves me well the month of February can often eclipse the one we are currently in.

We have been going through a bit of a heat run over the past few days, which is excellent given we are hosting the terrific Indian cricket fellows in Napier tomorrow evening.

The temperature is expected to nudge 30C which will be challenging for those who decide to take up a spot on the embankment.

No challenges for the visitors though because they've come in from Australia...where it soared to close to 40C in a couple of spots they donned the pads at.

Although they would have been thankful they didn't have a game up in the heart of the Northern Territory where the temperature was on the cusp of hitting 50C.

That is a killer heat if one has no access to air conditioning and the fridge is on the blink.

Aussie is in the grip of a heatwave and it is harming some.

Over here we don't see too many intense heatwaves because I guess we are just islands in a big ocean where weather can move around quicker than across a vast continent.

But the met' people reckon we will get them more frequently.

If it starts hitting 40C with regularity in the future the population of Stewart Island will bloom as people seek shelter.

And 50C?

Whew...the avocados would go off in mere minutes.

Make them easier to skin though.

Roger Moroney is an award-winning journalist for Hawke's Bay Today and observer of the slightly off-centre.