B9 - Reducing hazards that cause minor injury (trauma)
If houses are poorly designed and constructed or not well maintained there is an increased risk that residents may be injured. Elderly people, people with disabilities and young children are particularly at risk. Injuries may require medical treatment or hospitalisation and could result in infections or even disability. Removing life threatening risks needs to take priority when designing, upgrading and maintaining houses, see section A ‘Safety’, and then consideration should be given to reducing hazards that could result in trauma.
Aspects of the house and living area that could potentially cause injury or trauma include:
- hazardous materials such as asbestos or lead; prolonged exposure to these materials can have serious health impacts
- sharp corners and edges on benches, cupboards and other fixtures
- slippery floors, paths, stairs and ramps, and stairs or ramps without rails
- poorly lit rooms, passage ways and door ways
- hot water systems that produce water that can scald
- broken glass.
Houses and living areas should be designed for personal security including security screens and doors, fences and external lighting, and positioning the house to allow residents to see the street and entry points.