Dangerous computers plague America

It's too late being nice now - where were you when the mouse was strangling her?
It's too late being nice now - where were you when the mouse was strangling her?

Got your helmet, gloves, eye protection and body armour? Good, then you're safe to switch your computer on.

A new study in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine reports that computers are becoming more and more dangerous, with nearly 79,000 people falling victim to impact, trips, strains and falls as a result of their PC.

Over the period of the 12-year study, computer ownership in the US tripled while the rate of accidents involving them went up seven-fold.

Everyone is at risk from treacherous technology

The deadly devices were indiscriminate in dealing out danger, harming individuals aged from 1 month to 89 years, although injuries to children accounted for a third of all cases.

More than half (59 per cent) of accidents involved moving the computer or a related component, with hitting or getting caught on a part of the computer the most common cause of injury (37 per cent), followed by equipment falling on the victim (21 per cent) and sneaky PCs reaching out to trip people over (18 per cent).

Unsurprisingly given the study's 1994 to 2006 range, the most dangerous component proved to be the monitor, accounting for nearly a quarter of all wounds. This has decreased in recent years as LCD monitors replaced bulky CRT screens.

Other surprisingly hazardous components include towers, keyboards, printers and even mice.

The report's authors offer no explanation as to why the injury rate has outstripped the increase in ownership of computers, and don't specify whether owning a PC or a Mac affects your chance of being maimed.