Background: cataract is a leading cause of reversible vision impairment and may increase falls in older adults. Objective: to assess the risk of an injury due to a fall among adults aged 60+, 2 years before first-eye cataract surgery, between first-eye surgery and second-eye surgery and 2 years after second-eye surgery. Design: a retrospective cohort study. Setting: Western Australian Hospital Morbidity Data System and the Western Australian Death Registry. Subjects: there were 28,396 individuals aged 60+ years who underwent bilateral cataract surgery in Western Australia between 2001 and 2008. Methods: Poisson regression analysis based on generalised estimating equations compared the frequency of falls 2 years before first-eye cataract surgery, between first-and second-eye surgery and 2 years after second-eye cataract surgery after accounting for potential confounders. Results: the risk of an injurious fall that required hospitalisation doubled (risk ratio: 2.14, 95% confidence interval: 1.82 to 2.51) between first-and second-eye cataract surgery compared with the 2 years before first-eye surgery. There was a 34% increase in the number of injurious falls that required hospitalisation in the 2 years after second-eye cataract surgery compared with the 2 years before first-eye surgery (risk ratio: 1.34, 95% confidence interval: 1.16-1.55). Conclusions: there was an increased risk of injurious falls after first-and second-eye cataract surgery which has implications for the timely provision of second-eye surgery as well as appropriate refractive management between surgeries. © The Author 2013. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the British Geriatrics Society.