During Injury Prevention Week (2- 6 August) the focus for Day One and many of our supporters is to raise awareness about injuries that can be avoided. According to the Association of Personal Injury Lawyers the number of people injured in the UK each year could fill Wembley Stadium six times over. This isn’t to say that major traumatic injuries are always caused by our mistakes or misjudgments - accidents happen and often there’s no one to blame.
But in an effort to think about how we can take care to make society a little safer, we asked our Founder, the Orthopedic Surgeon Professor Peter Giannoudis, to share his thoughts on what we can do to best protect ourselves and those around us. Here’s what he shared:
1. Stay focused on the task in hand
Whatever task or activity you do, remain focused, do not allow your levels of concentration to drop particularly due to tiredness. Tiredness can manifest itself in any of the following ways:
- Finding it harder to concentrate
- drooping eyelids
- nodding head
- blurred vison
If you find yourself experiencing these signs of tiredness, try to take a break, rest and refuel before going back to demanding work.
2. Don’t carry out work or recreational activities in an unfamiliar place
Accidents can occur when people are carrying out physical work on building sites, farms or in other locations that are new to them, or when there are unfamiliar distractions nearby. No matter how important it seems to ‘get the job done quickly’, take time to understand the hazards that surround you, and consider how your can mitigate against danger.
Similarly, when taking part in outdoor activities such as skiing, mountain biking or climbing, be extra careful when visiting new locations. Look out for loose debris, steep inclines, or effects of extreme weather, and take precautions to avoid anything that could cause harm to you or others.
3. Avoid alcohol or reaction-impairing substances
Alcohol and some drugs affect our alertness, judgement, and ability to react quickly to danger or unexpected eventualities. According to the Alcohol Education Trust, in 2018 it was found that 240 fatal road accidents were down to drivers being over the limit. Studies have also shown that impairment by alcohol is thought to be a contributory factor in 13% of pedestrian road deaths.