|Hidden Dangers and Accidents - UK
It is not just work machinery, falls from heights or big explosions that cause injuries. In the UK around 4,000 people die in accidents at home every year, more than the number of people killed on the roads or at work and around 2.7 million a year turn up at accident and emergency departments looking for treatment. (Source - RoSPA). It is not always the most obvious which causes the problem:
Flowerpots: On average 5,000 people a year in the UK end up in hospital because of accident with flowerpots making them more dangerous than equipment such as hedge trimmers.
Food containers: 67,000 people are injured every year trying to peel cellophane off sandwiches, opening a ready meal or opening a ring-pull can. Six out of ten of these, around 150 a day, stab themselves trying to open a jar or ready meal with a knife.
Tea Cosy: In 1999 37 people were injured seriously enough to be admitted to hospital as a result of tea-cosy injuries. Most were caused by simple-minded souls trying to pick up a teapot by just holding the cosy but for others the cosy stuck back causing slips and falls.
Fridge: Although innocently cool, fridges injure more than 1,000 people a year.
Dishwasher: A common injury is scalding caused by opening the door while the machine is in operation. On one occasion the mere act of emptying the dishwasher was fatal when in 2003 a person fell onto a protruding knife while removing the clean utensils.
Beds: RoSPA reported more than 50,000 people were injured in 'bed-related' accidents in 2002. Unfortunately they don't go into more detail on the cause... What we do know though is that of these, 103 managed to be defeated by a pillow case resulting in an injury severe enough to require medical attention.
Bears: The UK may be devoid of grizzly bears, but we do have Teddy Bears. More people are killed by teddy bears here than by grizzly bears in those countries which have them.
Cotton Buds: Over-enthusiastic ear-cleaning is bad for your health, ranging from burst eardrums through to those who really go for it and manage to push the cotton bud right through to their inner ear causing deafness. Twice as many people are injured from cotton-buds as from razors, both normal and electric.
Bras: Two women were killed in London when a bolt of lightning hit the metal under wiring in their bras
Socks: Socks send around 10,700 people are year to hospital through injuries caused predominantly while putting them on.
Chainsaws vs Newspapers: Chainsaws are the cause of around 1,200 injuries a year but this pales when compared to the 4,300 injured by newspapers and magazines.
Boots: Beware the wellington boot - these are the cause of an average 5,600 hospital admissions each year.
Birdbaths: We have no idea how or why, but in one year 311 people went to hospital as a result of them.
Sponges: You would have thought nothing could go wrong with the average everyday sponge? 966 people who ended up in hospital as a result of sponges may disagree.
Vegetables: One of the best quotes ever committed to paper came courtesy of the New Scientist magazine which reported that "the number of injuries inflicted by vegetables remains unacceptably high, at 13,132".
Armchairs: You will be pleased to note that the number of injuries requiring treatment as a result of armchair-caused injuries is falling, but it is still a staggering 16,600 a year!
All in all, around 5% of the UK population (around 1 in 20) can be expected to suffer an injury at home every year, around 1 in 700 of which will be fatal.
What people were doing when they had an accident at home
People have accidents in the home when involved in all manner of commonplace activities. For example:
An estimated 438,000 people attended A & E after having an accident while walking or simply moving through their house or garden.
99,000 people had an accident doing DIY, such as electrical repairs, decorating, maintenance or carpentry.
96,000 people attended A & E after an accident occurred while they were sleeping, relaxing, sitting or lying down.
69,000 people had an accident while working in the garden - digging, mowing, clearing or
37,000 people suffered an accident while eating or drinking at home.
Where do most accidents take place?
266,000 accidents took place in the kitchen of a house.
337,000 people attended A & E after an accident in the garden/lawn of their home.
Shopping centre /markets accounted for 58,000 accidents.
42,000 accidents occurred in a bar.
5,900 people had an accident on a golf course.