Minor repairs could reduce falls in the home by more than a quarter, according to research published in the medical journal The Lancet.
A University of Otago trial conducted in Taranaki over four years shows low cost repairs or modifications worth between $300 and $600 reduce fall injuries by 26 percent.
The study's lead author, Michael Keall, said it has important implications for the design of injury prevention programmes.
In the last financial year, people falling at home led to about 290,000 claims to the Accident Compensation Corporation (ACC) at a cost of about $300 million.
The modifications in the study included grabrails in bathrooms, handrails for outside steps, slip resistant surfaces for decks and outside lighting.