Thursday, 2 February 2012

Woops! Slips, trips, bumps and falls ~ safety in the home and garden

Accidents can happen so quickly and often when we least expect it.  How safe are we at home?  The answer is 'not very'.  Whereas news items and safety campaigns often focus on road users, in actual fact fatal accidents are far more likely to occur at home.  Most injuries are the result of slips, trips and falls.  You can read about it in this article:
Figures compiled by the ACC  (Accident Compensation Corporation) show that 12 New Zealanders die each week as a result of accidents around the home, with a further 12,000 injured.  In relation to the entire population this represents one in seven over the course of a year! 

A heavy blunt instrument!
Today I had an accident myself, while hanging out the washing: turning the clothesline I received an almost stunning blow on the side of my nose: the heavy metal end of a strut had seemed to come out of nowhere and I let out a shout as the lens of my glasses flew out of its frame, the pain so severe I couldn't cry or think.  In survival mode I found the lens on the grass and, holding the side of my face, got back inside and reached for an ice pack.  Man it hurt!  In response to my croaked phone call my sister came across immediately, got me a better ice pack, checked my nose for straightness and sat with me until I had calmed down.  Sisters are tops!  Fortunately this painful blow resulted only in an aching bruise.

I knew the corners of the awkwardly placed clothesline were a hazard, and already had tennis balls on my shopping list for the week, but not soon enough!   I will cut the balls open and use them to cover the ends of the four struts to prevent just this sort of blow... 

[Later Note]
...which I did do, making a neat 'T' incision with a sharp craft knife, although these are 'high bounce balls' rather than tennis balls.  It seemed a shame to cut open these nice balls, but that was the reason I got them.

The ACC website has a good comprehensive section on safety in the home:
There is loads of good information there, all nicely set out for easy reference, which I intend to go over more carefully myself!  Information includes safe temperatures for hot water, requirements and recommendations for building a deck, the safe handling of ladders and chainsaws, and much much more!  Not all the links work unfortunately and I'm about to write to them to let them know.

The Ministry of Economic Development also has a useful section for energy consumers about many aspects of electrical safety, appliance checks and outlines what electrical work ordinary people are permitted to do and what requires a certified electrician.  I've linked here to their Consumer Safety page:
The Consumer Build website also has a useful section for Do-It-Yourselfers:


MotherGosling said...

TENNIS BALLS on the ends of the clothes line struts sounds such a good idea, particularly as most are bright yellow. Quite apart from lessening the impact of an attack by the clothes-line corner, one would notice that bright color in the peripheral vision better then grey or green etc. I certainly would! Tennis Balls are going on my shopping list too! Thanks for the idea! Hope you heal well.

Leigh Christina Russell said...

Greetings MotherGosling, nice to hear from you! Thank you for your good wishes - my nose is nearly better. I followed your link back to your own site and enjoyed looking through your blogs, so will add them to my private blog library. Your botanical paintings are wonderful and hope you do more.

Maggie Malone said...

That metal bar was obviously solid and I can only imagine the pain. It’s really bothering that we don’t have immunity against accidents, even in the comforts of our own home, right? I guess we just have to be more strategic, andin your case, careful in making furniture and other house arrangements. Your experience would help people to come into this awareness. There’s still something good about the accident, nevertheless. :)

Leigh Christina Russell said...

Hi Maggie, yes, life is dangerous! :-) As tenants we have fewer choices about safety issues around the home than would otherwise be the case, an aspect of renting which annoys me prodigiously. If I owned this place I would certainly have re-landscaped that part of the property to make it both safer and more appealing! As it is I have already done a lot of landscaping here and that would be another big job. Oh well, compromise is a large part of life - and fitting the four tennis balls was far simpler than weeks of digging!