Falls costing hundreds of millions - ACC

Last updated 13:51 16/12/2013

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Falls around the home are costing the country $260 million a year in claims, ACC says.

Injuries in and around the home resulted in about 670,000 claims annually and just under half this number comprised of injuries from falls.

In a bid to reduce the number, ACC has developed a checklist to help renters identify potential hazards in homes they look at on Trade Me.

The "Renter's Healthy Home Checklist" would help renters identify potential hazards in homes they look at, ACC programme manager home safety Megan Nagel said.

"Our aim is to help people factor in safety when deciding which property to rent, and identify things that may need fixing, so they can talk to the landlord about this," she said.

The checklist could be accessed by clicking on a link at the bottom of each Trade Me rental property page.

It was hoped the checklist would help identify environmental factors that caused injuries at home.

These included whether there were adequate power outlets so cords were away from walkways, and lights by the bed for safety in the night.

Safe access to the front door was also important.

"Features such as these can all help to significantly reduce the risk of falls in and around the home," Nagel said.

FACTS ABOUT FALLS (from ACC):

- About 290,000 people are injured in home falls each year

- Home falls lead to claims costs of around $260 million annually

- Forty-five per cent of falls happen to people aged 20-64

- About 10,000 people have to take more than a week off work - about 2500 have to take three months or more - because of a home fall

WHERE FALLS HAPPEN (from ACC 2012 claims data):

- Lounge: 5823

- Dining Room: 235

- Kitchen: 9404

- Bathroom: 13,953

- Bedroom: 11,468

- Laundry: 1509

- Garage, shed, workshop: 2530

- Path or drive: 6646

- Steps or stairs: 27,270

- DIY: 3866

- Home maintenance: 1035

- Car/boat maintenance: 276

- Firewood: 2431

- Gardening: 10,902

- Playing: 17,040

- Cleaning inside: 943

- Insects: 273

- Inside (unspecified): 23,089

- Outside (unspecified): 30,689

- Other or unknown: 122,128

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