Injury Smart

When words save lives

One little box on the ACC45 is more important than you may realise – it’s being used at ACC to help save lives.





One of the most important parts of ACC is our Injury Prevention area. It’s responsible for designing programmes to help prevent accidents, which in turn reduces the rates of injury and helps save lives. To design good injury prevention programmes we need to know more about how accidents happen. The more information you can provide when you’re filling in the ACC45, the better.

If someone falls, think about the circumstances that caused the fall. Did your patient simply trip on something? Was alcohol a factor? Did fatigue lead to misjudged footing? The same principle applies to a situation such as a bike accident – was the bike being used on a flat area, a steep hill or crossing a river? Did it flip, roll or hit something? By being as specific and detailed as possible, you’re helping us to target our programmes to prevent similar accidents happening in the future.

The information we have about each accident becomes a resource that is used by ACC’s injury prevention teams, other ministries, industry, the media and product design firms.

How injury information supports safer sports

For example ACC, in partnership with the New Zealand Rugby Union, delivers the RugbySmart Injury Prevention Programme to more than 12,000 coaches and 150,000 players each year. Injury statistics are used to provide insights that inform the programme.

We noticed, for example, that there was a high rate of severe shoulder injuries occurring during games. This suggested that players were getting injured whilst attempting to make tackles. As a result, RugbySmart encourages players to use correct tackling techniques to reduce their risk of injury. This is an example of an area of sport that is highly regulated, which makes it relatively simple to determine cause. However, more specific information with regards to recreational injuries (i.e. walking, running, cycling etc) would be really useful for informing other programmes.

So, as you can see, the information you provide is invaluable. And while it might seem like an effort sometimes, every detail helps us to create better injury prevention programmes that make a difference – a difference that could even save lives.

March 2013 Newsletter

Published 12/03/2013

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