Added pain as 150,000 days of productivity lost

Rotorua residents lost more than 150,000 days of productivity from injuries last year, with nearly half the damage happening at home.

The latest ACC injury comparison reports that a total of 150,462 days of productivity were lost in Rotorua in 2012-13.

The Rotorua ACC injury claim rate was slightly below the national average and has trended downwards over the past five years.

The most common injuries in Rotorua (47.4 per cent) occurred at home and at $10.4 million they were also the most expensive.

Advertisement

Rotorua Chamber of Commerce chief executive Darrin Walsh said time off work could have a negative impact on a business depending on the length of time.

"A business may well cover the shortage as is or employ someone to cover if the time off is long term," Mr Walsh said.

"This will have an effect on productivity and staff morale, especially when covering the shortage internally and there may also be a cost in upskilling or training another staff member."

The time an injured staff member was off could have a bigger impact on smaller local businesses: "It can be much harder as there are less staff to cover and take on extra workload. Imagine the effect on a one or two-person business if one person is away for any period of time."

Mr Walsh said ongoing rehabilitation after an injured individual returned to work would also have a considerable impact on a business.

"While back at work, the employee may well be on light duties and not able to take on a full workload.

"There was a case where an employee fell and smashed her elbow. It was eight months from the point that the accident occurred till the time she was able to continue normal duties. Most businesses would find this a huge impact."

ACC spokesman Glenn Donovan said about 700,000 injuries nationwide happened in the home each year, and of those about 290,000 resulted from falls.

Advertisement

"Falls don't just happen to very young and older people," he said.

"Around 45 per cent of home falls happen to working-age people aged 20-64 years.

"We suspect that one of the reasons we're so prone to injuries, such as falls, in the home is because the home is where we naturally feel safe and secure, and we let down our guard a little.

ACC recently updated its approach to injury prevention, identifying priority areas which generally result in the highest rate, severity and costs of injuries.

The priority areas were falls, road injuries, workplace injuries, treatment injuries, sport and recreational injuries, lifting, carrying and strain injuries, and intentional harm - including sexual violence.

Statistics for Rotorua District 2012/13

Total number of days of lost productivity due to injury: 150,462

Days of lost productivity by type of injury:

¦Workplace injury: 58,008

¦Falls: 49,755

¦Assaults: 7396

¦Motor vehicles: 28,941

¦Water sports related: 2486

Top 5 physical locations of accidents by cost:
¦Home: $10,429,343
¦Road or street: $9,517,167
¦Sport and recreation: $5,440,026
¦Commercial/service location: $3,250,347
¦Industrial location: $2,892,873

Top 5 actions identified as the cause of an accident by cost:
¦Loss of balance: $7,574,852
¦Collision/knocked over by object: $4,896,952
¦Lifting/carrying/strain: $3,112,694
¦Loss of control of vehicle: $2,866,405
¦Slipping, skidding on feet: $2,565,014