DIY disasters kill nearly 600 a year
4:00AM Saturday Sep 05, 2009
By Alanah May Eriksen and David Eames

Every week 85 New Zealanders injure themselves with lawnmowers. Photo / Northern Advocate

DIY handymen are costing hundreds of millions of dollars in medical bills by putting up wobbly scaffolds, touching live wires and shooting themselves in the hands and feet with nail guns.

The traditional weekend activity is turning the home into the most dangerous place to be, new Accident Compensation Corporation figures show.

ACC injury prevention team leader Ceri Davies said middle-aged handymen often had "just enough tools to get themselves into trouble, but not enough tools to get themselves out of it".

"If you are going to paint the house, make sure you have the equipment," Mr Davies said. "You don't have to fall very far to have a life-changing accident."

An average of 11 people died each week from accidents in their homes in the year to the end of June - an annual total of 573. That compares with the road toll last year of 366.

More here.