2019 Western Australian Falls Report

Injury Matters has launched the 2019 Western Australian Falls Report. It is the first of its kind in WA, highlighting the incidence of falls-related fatalities, hospitalisations, and emergency department attendances in the state.

Falls are a significant public health issue affecting Western Australian families and the economy, with falls ranking as the leading cause of injury fatalities and injury hospitalisations in WA.

This report is a vital step in understanding the incidence of falls in Western Australia and implementing effective falls prevention policy and initiatives. Injury Matters developed the report with funding from the Western Australian Department of Health.

Read the 2019 Western Australian Falls Report below.

2019 WA Falls Report Cover Page



Move Your Body Campaign Launch

Last week, we launched the newest Stay On Your Feet® Move Your Body campaign at Melville LeisureFit on the 4th of September at 2pm.

Last week, we launched the newest Stay On Your Feet® Move Your Body campaign at Melville LeisureFit on the 4th of September at 2pm.

Community members enjoyed a Tai Chi and Active Light exercise class before a light afternoon tea, while learning the importance of staying active at every stage of life, especially as we age.

It was a great day connecting with the community and providing all in attendance the opportunity to find or reconnect with a passion for moving their bodies. See some images from the day below!

It’s never too late to start moving your body, to find out more about the campaign, visit the Stay On Your Feet® website.

Sustainability Matters: long term funding, growth

We have had a great contract news this year, with extended contracts for our existing programs alongside new funding granted by the National Heavy Vehicle Regulator.

We have had great contract news this year, with extended contracts for our existing programs alongside new funding granted by the National Heavy Vehicle Regulator. These longer-term agreements will enable us to further solidify ourselves as an asset to the WA community, while our new program funding will allow us to reach even more of the community in need, for the next 5 years.

Injuries remain a major public health issue, and we are impressed by the commitment the government has shown in backing initiatives like our Know Injury and Stay On Your Feet® programs, as well as our friends at Kidsafe and Royal Life Saving Society WA, for injury prevention.

Health Minister, Roger Cook said, “The McGowan Government is committed to the ongoing support of initiatives and NGOs who help reduce preventable health problems for Western Australians and relieve the pressure on our public health system.”

“These are important contracts with expert organisations who help promote healthy lifestyles, prevent injury and reduce the need for hospital admissions,” Mr Cook said.

You can get involved with the upcoming Stay On Your Feet® campaign HERE.

Additionally, we were excited to be awarded $436,000 of heavy vehicle safety funding to support the Mentally and Physically Safe on our Roads (MaPS) project, through the National Heavy Vehicle Regulator’s (NHVR) 2019 Heavy Vehicle Safety Initiative, supported by the Federal Government.

The MaPS project is the first of its kind in Australia, and proposing to deliver an innovative mental and physical safety program specifically targeting heavy vehicle operators through information and education over the next 2 years.

With WA’s vast and remote road network, heavy vehicle operators are often the first to come across the scene of a road crash. Being first on scene, providing assistance, witnessing, being involved in or causing a crash, can have a traumatic and long lasting impact.

MaPS will focus on improving awareness and knowledge amongst heavy vehicle operators of the importance of maintaining good health, physically and mentally, as a means of staying safe on our roads.

This program will be fortified by our experience from the Road Trauma Support WA program, which has also received longer-term funding through the Road Safety Commission WA. These initiatives will work to further support the WA community and continue to reduce, and support recovery from, injuries on our roads.

Keep an eye out on our website for more information as the program takes shape.

Move Your Body grants now open

Expressions of interest now open for the Stay On Your Feet® Move Improve Remove grants, , available in amounts up to $5000, will fund projects running between 1 September and 30 November 2019.

Expressions of interest now open for the Stay On Your Feet® Move Improve Remove grants. The grants, available in amounts up to $5000, will fund projects running between 1 September and 30 November 2019. The campaigns key messages and calls to action focus on the importance of improving older adults balance and leg strength to prevent falls by finding enjoyable activities that allow for ongoing improvement.

Grants are open to community groups and not-for-profit organisations, health professionals, community workers and fitness professionals working with older adults, retirement and lifestyle villages, local government and population health units. Hospitals, residential care facilities and applicants without an ABN are not eligible.

Click here to download the Move Your Body grant application form or visit https://www.stayonyourfeet.com.au/health-professionals/campaigns/grants/ to find out more.

How do we evolve as an injury prevention community?

Written by Rachel Meade, Injury Prevention Manager at Injury Matters.

From the 5-7 November 2018, the 13th World Safety Conference on Injury Prevention was held in Bangkok, Thailand. This event brought  together over a thousand of the world’s leading researchers, practitioners, policy makers and activists to share information and experience on injury prevention. This year’s theme was Advancing Injury And Violence Prevention Towards Sustainable Development Goals.

The juxtaposition of an injury prevention conference with the ever-present challenges of injury in Bangkok were significant. It was eye-opening to see the challenges locals face on a daily basis; while navigating the streets of Bangkok, road safety, burns, falls and electrical hazards were never far from my mind.

The conference highlighted that global progress in injury prevention is too slow, and how we need to look beyond the public health sector for solutions and improvements.

It was the opinion of Professor Adnan Hyder of John Hopkins University that as a community, we need to think of safety as a value if we are to overcome challenges. As public health professionals, we need to look beyond the risk factors for injury and look at the social issues which enable the risk factors to be present.

We need to advocate and be outraged that people are dying and being seriously injured at the rate that they are.

In 2015, 2474 people died from falls in Australia. Where is the outrage at this? If there was a singular event that resulted in that many fatalities there would be significant attention in the media, but because it is individuals and not a collective the attention is not given. Injury is a significant public health priority in Australia and we need to make more noise to bring it to the forefront of the community.

Safety and injury prevention is everyone’s business. We need action across government departments, by NGOs, industry and importantly by community. We need to change our mindset when we think of safety, where it is something we value and think of the whole system to solve the problem.

At the end of the conference five solutions were suggested:

  1. Strengthen government leadership and accountability
  2. Strengthen legislation and regulation
  3. Shaping social norms
  4. Scaling up interventions for injury and violence prevention
  5. Strengthening monitoring and capacities

As a developed nation, Australia is in the fortunate position that we are advanced in some areas where the solutions were placed such as legislation and regulation.

One area where I think we need to focus on is the shaping of social norms, particularly with all forms of interpersonal violence and alcohol; which are supported and enabled through legislation, regulation and leadership.

We need to focus our efforts on the people who need our assistance the most, the vulnerable.

The conference concluded with the reading of the Bangkok statement which can be found on  www.worldsafety2018.org and announced the next conference to be hosted by the Public Health Association of  Australia in Adelaide in November 2020. Perhaps in two years we will see how injury prevention has evolved, shaped by the evidence of what we know works and implementing interventions with the people who are in need.

New resource – Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and injury

Know Injury has recently released a new resource regarding the incidence of injury among Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.

The resource outlines a number of statistics including that in WA Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples are hospitalised due to injury 2.5 times more than non-Aboriginal people, with 10,165 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples hospitalised due to injury from July 2013 to June 2015.

Click here to access the new resource.