DIY battle scars prove costly

STACEY KIRK
Last updated 16:54 01/10/2012
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DANGEROUS JOB: There were 280,000 falls around the home last year - accounting for 40 per cent of all ACC payouts.

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Ingenuity and home DIY is something many New Zealanders like to think comes naturally, but last year that ingenuity cost Kiwis nearly $300 million.

This week is Home Safety Week and figures released by ACC showed there were more than 280,000 falls around the home last year - accounting for 40 per cent of all payouts.

ACC general manager Insurance and Prevention Services John Beaglehole said the effect of a fall or serious injury had far reaching consequences.

"These are people who are home-makers, bread winners and members of New Zealand’s workforce.

"So an injury at home can have a huge impact on their family, their employer and the economy."

Beaglehole said it was often the most innocuous things around a home which caused the greatest hazards.

"If you asked people to describe the most dangerous hazards in their house, things like unfastened mats or a power cord across the floor wouldn’t necessarily spring to mind. But the fact is they cause a lot of injuries."

ACC said one in every three injuries in New Zealand happened in the home, which meant people were far more likely to be injured at home than anywhere else.

Every year, more than 100,000 people aged 25-64 fell over at home and thousands of them had to have at least a month off work because of their fall.

As part of safety week this year, NZ On Screen has also released some of New Zealand's most famous vintage safety videos from years past.

From a child trying his hand at chopping wood with an axe, to a 1951 instructional video on how to drown, the videos show a long history of New Zealanders enjoying the outdoors and highlight important, if somewhat dated, messages on how to stay safe while doing so.
 
FACTS ON FALLS

* More than 630,000 injuries in or around the home in 2011.

* Cost of home-related injuries in 2011 was $520 million.

* 280,000 claims for falls in or around the home in 2011.

* Cost of fall-related injuries in or around the home in 2011 was $272 million.

* 25-64 year-olds make up over 40 per cent of all home falls (115,000 claims) and 60 per cent of costs.

*Cost of falls for 25-64 year-olds in 2011 was $160 million ($67 million in weekly compensation for injury-related loss of earnings).

* Almost 10,000 people were off work for more than a week as a result of home falls in 2011.

* More than 2500 people were off work for more than 3 months as a result of home falls in 2011.

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VIDEOS:

Careful With That Axe
This comedic short film by Jason Stutter is a benchmark in home safety films. Young kid, sharp axe, wincingly funny.
 
Such a Stupid Way To Die
This 1971 NFU film for the Mountain Safety Council doesn't hold back in the title! While it's not strictly about safety "at home", there's a lot to learn here about snacks, hypothermia and sticking together.
 
Monkey Tale

A cycling safety film directed at children, this NFU film from the 1950s uses monkeys on bicycles to make its point. The wonderful and weird anthropomorphic tale is a world away from contemporary road safety ads.
 
Too Late To Be Sorry
Another NFU film with hard-hitting title, this time for the NZ Forest Service. It's aimed at hunters, but comes in useful to those who keep guns around the house: "I'm sorry mate, I thought you were the deer."
 
How To Drown
For those with pools in their backyards, especially as the weather warms up, this educational film uses reverse psychology and a jaunty approach to educating about what was known in colonial times as "the New Zealand death".

- Stuff

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