Home improvement is costing some Aussies an arm and a leg, with 3300 hospitalised each year

AUSTRALIA’S obsession with DIY is maiming the nation, with 3,300 people hospitalised each year as a result of improving their homes.

Almost 100 people lost their fingers or toes as a result of power saws, woodwork machinery and lawnmowers Australian Institute of Health and Welfare data shows.

And 1,262 people suffered fractures after falling off a ladder.

The most common cause of DIY injuries was falling off a ladder (1,262) followed by power tools (899), falls from buildings (417), lawnmowers (271) and non-powered hand tools (230).

The over 65’s are the group most likely to be injured in the course of DIY and men are almost five times more likely to be injured improving their homes than women.

The lawnmower emerged as the most dangerous DIY tool in 2013-14 and was responsible for amputating fingers in 57 cases and toes in 10 cases.

This compared to just 11 amputation cases linked to power saws and 21 amputations linked to woodworking tools.

Dog bites hospitalised another 4,000 people including 689 children aged under nine.

And there were about 800 cases of serious unintentional injury involving a train between 2009—10 to 2013—14 — an average of about 160 per year.

Around 350 people were killed by rail accidents in the decade between 2002—03 and 2011—12.

The statistics have revealed that guns are more dangerous to their owners than to others.

Of the 209 deaths caused by firearms, just 33 (17 per cent) were murders while 79 percent were suicides.

Four in ten of the 338 people hospitalised as a result of a firearm suffered an unintentional injury.

The data also revealed that 20,000 people are hospitalised as a result of assault each year. More than two-thirds of assault victims were males.

A Flinders University analysis found of the nearly 6,500 women and girls were hospitalised due to assault in 2013-14 the violence was perpetrated by a partner or spouse in 59 per cent of cases.

Parents or family members were responsible for the rest of the injuries and seven in ten of the women were assaulted in their own home.

Head injuries were the most common injuries suffered by women.

Disturbingly, 217 of the women assaulted were pregnant at the time and they were more likely than other women to have injuries to their trunk compared to non-pregnant women..

Two-thirds of women were assaulted by bodily force, 15 percent by a blunt object and seven per cent by a sharp object.

“The rate of hospitalised assault for women and girls varied by age. It was highest in the 20 — 34 years age group, at a little over 100 cases per 100,000 women,” AIHW spokesman Professor James Harrison.

One in five women who were hospitalised as a result of an assault suffered fractures, another one in five had open wounds and 22 per cent suffered superficial injuries.

DIY INJURIES IN 2013-14

Fall from ladder: 1,262

Fall from or out of a building: 417

Fall from tree: 43

Non power tool: 230

Lawnmower: 271

Power tool: 899

 

Source: The Advertiser – Adelaide Now

 

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