By: 5 November 2020
RSA and RoSPA work to prevent deaths and injuries from accidents

Insurer RSA and the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents (RoSPA) are collaborating on a number of initiatives to highlight risks and to help reduce the number of people who are seriously injured or killed in accidents at home or on the road.

Their newly struck long-term partnership will focus on preventing the more than 14,000 deaths and hundreds of thousands of injuries that result from accidents in the UK every year.

RSA and RoSPA will address accidents affecting under-fives in the home, 17 to 25 year olds on the road, and over 65s on the road and at home.

Their programme of work will develop research and analysis to understand the main causes of accidents and who they affect, use insights to build awareness and highlight simple steps to reduce the risks, and advocate wider systemic changes where appropriate to improve safety for all.

Initial research, from a nationally representative YouGov survey of 2,000 UK residents conducted in March, found that almost half of us (48%) have experienced a serious accident or know someone who has.

In addition, two in five of us (43%) have experienced anxiety or stress as a result of an accident involving close friends or family.

Furthermore, a third of the UK workforce has had to take time off work to accommodate caring responsibilities such as accompanying children or a relative to medical appointments as a result of an accident.

Over 65s account for half of all accident-related hospital admissions, with the number of people being admitted up 11% since 2015 for this age group.

Among over 65s, falls are the largest single cause of admissions and accidental deaths, so the first output from the RSA and RoSPA partnership will be a series of virtual roadshows and online support material to help those approaching later life to improve their strength and balance, which are key defences to limiting falls at home.

Available from the end of November, these online support packages are designed to give over 65s clear and simple things they can do to live more safely and actively.

Research also found that almost half of us (45%) don’t feel comfortable talking to older friends and relatives about the risks they face, so there will also be guidance to help everyone else find ways to raise safety concerns.

Commenting on this strategic partnership, Karl Helgesen, RSA’s chief claims officer and chair of its corporate responsibility committee, said: “Every year, more than 800,000 people are seriously injured or killed in accidents at home, at leisure, on the road or at work—many of them preventable. Through our partnership with RoSPA, we are using our relationships with families and business to increase awareness of risks, and find ways to reduce them.”

Commenting on the partnership’s first output for over 65s, RoSPA chief executive Errol Taylor said: “Across England and Wales, more than 9,000 people aged over 65 die as a result of an accident each year and there are more than 430,000 accident-related hospital admissions in England among this age group. A leading cause of these accidents are falls in the home.”

“Strength and balance exercises are one intervention which can help prevent a fall among over-65s. This is why RoSPA and RSA are working together to provide free resources and five online strength and balance roadshows which will help people in later life to stay on their feet and promote wellbeing.”

“I look forward to sharing the continued success and positive impact of our partnership.”