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RoSPA launches groundbreaking ‘Falls Charity Appeal’ to prevent the hidden harm caused by falls

18/05/2022

Fall prevention has been identified as the number one priority by the leading health and safety charity the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents (RoSPA). And RoSPA is now calling on businesses, business leaders and the health and safety community to use the skills they have developed in fall prevention in workplaces, to educate their employees to help prevent falls in the home.

Shockingly, annual deaths due to falls, including falls on stairs, have nearly doubled in England from 3,667 deaths in 1990 to 7,274 in 2019. Falls cause untold misery and pain to thousands of people every year, from physical injuries and death, long-term health effects and disabilities, loss of mobility, loneliness, social isolation and loss of independence. They also impact massively on society, costing the NHS and wider healthcare systems over £4billion every year. But RoSPA believes businesses and organisations can mobilise their people to help drive these numbers down.

The Falls Charity Appeal has two major aims. Firstly, RoSPA is urging organisations to deliver the charity’s free, twenty-minute Fall Fighter awareness sessions to their staff. These online sessions have been specifically designed to equip people with the knowledge and skills to recognise the potential risks and how to stop falls from happening. Additionally, the sessions provide people with a better understanding of how to help limit the harm from a fall.

Secondly, RoSPA is asking for donations to be made to its appeal, which will fund the delivery of strength and balance programmes for people in later life, to enable them to lead active, independent lives for longer. Falls are the largest cause of accidental death among over-65s in the UK and these programmes have been shown to reduce the rate of falls by up to 30 per cent.

Errol Taylor, RoSPA’s Chief Executive, said: “At RoSPA we know that businesses are experts in preventing falls in workplaces, but we want to translate these skills to tackle falls that are happening in homes, which are a forgotten killer. We believe that if every employee was made aware how falls can be prevented we could, together, achieve a huge reduction in the numbers of those killed and injured. This is why we have developed our innovative free Fall Fighter resource. By rolling-out our online sessions, businesses will be taking a leading role in addressing one of the biggest health and safety issues we face. There is so much that we can all do to stop falls from happening. A free Fall Fighter awareness session takes just twenty minutes to complete but could change the lives of loved ones forever.

“But we’re not stopping there, we want to deliver a programme of strength and balance programmes that will mean more people in later life can lead active, independent lives for longer. These programmes have been shown to reduce the rate of falls by a massive 30 per cent. And by making a donation we can start this incredibly important work.

“By joining together, we can be a powerful and positive force for good. I therefore encourage all businesses and organisations, no matter their size, to adopt and roll-out our Fall Fighter training and donate to our appeal – together we have the potential to save lives.”

In support of the Fall Fighter scheme, early adopter Sarah Riesner, Business Lead – Strategy, Risk & Governance, Severn Trent, said: “We’re proud to adopt this free scheme, and encourage our 7,500 employees to become RoSPA Fall Fighters.”
 
And Barry Oliver, Group Executive for Health & Safety, from national house builder Berkeley Group, added: “The Fall Fighter scheme fits well with our strategic focus. Adding it to our own Learning Management System makes the roll-out simple.”
 
For more information on how you can take part, visit: www.rospa.com/falls-appeal

 
NOTES TO EDITORS

  • In England, 43,000 people a year are admitted to hospital with physical injuries due to falls

  • Falls are the single biggest cause of accidental injuries in the home, and the largest cause of accidental death among over-65s in the UK

  • Falls claim the lives of more than 700 people in England alone every year

  • 80 per cent of hospital admissions for the over-65s are as a result of a fall

  • Those over seventy are most vulnerable, accounting for 85 per cent of falls fatalities

  • Falls resulted in over 66,000 hip fractures in 2018

  • The chances of dying from a fall are 23 times greater than dying from burns

  • Annual deaths due to falls, including falls on stairs, have nearly doubled in England from 3,667 deaths in 1990 to 7,274 in 2019, whereas the number of deaths from burns and fire has halved

  • Every year more than a third of people over the age of 65 (and half of those over 80) have a fall that requires hospital treatment, costing the NHS and wider healthcare system more than £4billion every year

  • 45 per cent of people said they did not feel confident raising concerns about the risk of accidents with older relatives or friends

  • 55 per cent lacked the confidence to suggest safety improvements. Only 36 per cent of people said they felt comfortable passing on accident prevention advice.

 
 

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