Easter—DIY safely

Published: 
7 Apr 2009

For many Australians the Easter break is the ideal time to catch up on those 'little jobs' that go undone on a normal weekend.

But it's also a time when hospitals and doctors' surgeries brace themselves for a number of avoidable injuries.

"Safety should be at the forefront of everyone's mind at this time – we can avoid a large number of accidents and injuries," ACCC Deputy Chair, Mr Peter Kell, said today.  "Just take an extra few moments to check that the work area and tools are safe, and do it yourself safely.

"For example, ladders are a leading cause of injury for DIYers – particularly older men.  

"From 2000-2008, 94 people were killed in falls from ladders.  Analysis of data from the National Coroners Information System found that the majority of deaths were people over 50.  Many were skilled handymen who had simply become complacent.

"Vehicle jacks, portable ramps and support stands must comply with mandatory safety standards. Despite this 29 people in Australia died in car jack-related accidents between 2000 and 2007, with several hundred more reporting to hospital with injuries. Most accidents happened at home.

"The ubiquitous elastic luggage – or 'occy' strap – can also be a serious hazard being linked with more than 100 serious injuries in recent years. "If stretched too tightly, they can flick back with incredible force. Users have suffered severe eye injuries from over-stretching straps, or not securing them well.

"The last place you want to spend Easter is in hospital, so before getting up a ladder, working under a car or fastening down objects with luggage straps, check the products are in good working order and take a moment to read and follow safety warnings," Mr Kell said.

Safety information on ladders, elastic luggage straps and vehicle jacks, stands and  ramps is available from the ACCC website.

Contact details

Media inquiries

Ms Lin Enright, Media, (02) 6243 1108 or 0414 613 520

Release # NR 075/09

General inquiries

Infocentre 1300 302 502

Australian Competition and Consumer Commission