Northland homes are the country’s most dangerous with more home accidents per person than any other region last year, according to home injury data released today by the Accident Compensation Corporation (ACC).
The statistics, released to coincide with the launch of Safety NZ Week, show that one in five Northlanders were injured in their homes last year. In Northland 41 people died as a result of an accident at home and 31,412 were injured. The majority of deaths were caused by slips, trips and falls.
ACC General Manager Injury Prevention, Keith McLea, said the tragedy is that many of these accidents could have been avoided by making one simple change in the home.
“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,” said Mr McLea.
The second most dangerous region, in terms of ACC home injury claims, is Hawke’s Bay, followed by Waikato and Taranaki. The regions with the safest homes are Southland and Marlborough.
Auckland is the city with the highest number of injuries in the home per person, followed by Napier and Tauranga. There were 128,427 ACC home injury claims in Auckland City in 2009 and 146 deaths.
Nationally, the statistics show that one in seven, or 632,920 New Zealanders were injured in their homes last year, down from 664,334 in 2008. A total of 621 people died from their injuries, an increase of 17 deaths from 2008.
Mr McLea said while the reduction in overall home injury numbers is pleasing, the increase in deaths is alarming.
“Twelve New Zealanders lose their lives every week as a result of accidents they have at home, and many more are being seriously injured.
“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 ACC levies for the treatment and rehabilitation of people injured in their homes.”
He said that ACC conservatively estimates that alcohol is a contributing factor in nearly one quarter of all ACC claims.
“New Zealanders should be aware that drinking alcohol significantly increases your risk of being injured. It also makes people particularly vulnerable to falls which make up 41 per cent of all home accidents,” said Mr McLea.
This week (Monday 30 August to Sunday 5 September) is Safety NZ Week, and ACC is encouraging all New Zealanders to make one simple change in their homes to help keep themselves and their families safe.
“The most effective way for us to reduce the number of accidents New Zealanders are having at home, and the amount they are costing us as a country, is through education. So we are encouraging all New Zealanders to make one simple change this week,” said Mr McLea.
Home injury facts and simple changes you can make this week:
- Slips, trips and falls make up 41% of all home accidents.
One Simple Change: Wear non-slip shoes inside.
- More than 17,000 accidents occur in bathrooms each year.
One Simple Change: Use non-slip mats in the bath and shower.
- 133 kids injure themselves running through glass or falling out of a window every single week.
One Simple Change: Make sure that you can see glass doors – add stickers or a frosted panel to make them more visible.
- There are 87 stair-related accidents every day that result in an ACC claim. That’s 610 people a week.
One Simple Change: Flick the light switch on when you use the stairs.
- Last year 5,400 people were injured using a ladder at home – that’s 15 people every day.
One Simple Change: Don’t over reach sideways.
- 40% of homes have dangerously hot water.
One Simple Change: Ensure your hot water is 55°C at the tap.
- The more alcohol you drink the greater your risk of injury.
One Simple Change: If you are organising a party at home, plan activities so drinking isn’t the focus.
For more simple changes you can make this week visit www.homesafety.co.nz.