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HSE appeals to reduce workplace injuries in the North East

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HSE appeals to reduce workplace injuries in the North East

As the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) approaches its 40th anniversary, it’s launching an appeal to businesses in the North East to make this financial year, the year they prioritise the wellbeing and safety of their employees.

John Rowe, the Head of Operations for the HSE in the North East, explained that while workplace conditions have substantially improved in the last 40 years, employers need to create effective plans for the coming year so they can continue to focus on welfare issues and health and safety in the workplace.

The appeal is a response to a new report that shows nearly 3500 workers suffered an injury in the North East region in 2013 to 2014, while a further 6 employees sadly lost their lives. Although the number of injuries has decreased since the previous year, when 3682 received an injury, unfortunately the number of fatalities has tripled.

Another concerning statistic released in January evidences the scale of workplace illnesses, with around 55,000 thought to have become ill as a result of their work.

The Bigger Picture

Across the country, in the 2013 to 2014 period, around 79,500 workers were injured (according to RIDDOR reports), 1.1 million were thought to have contracted a workplace illness and 133 people lost their lives in work-related accidents.

In 1974-1975, the HSE recorded 651 deaths, which excludes a large portion of self-employed workers and deaths that were recorded under different recording techniques, so the true number would have been higher.

When we compare this year’s figures, with those from 40 years ago when the HSE was first established and the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 was introduced, you can see how much progress has been made, and why the UK has become one of the safest places to work in the world.

Maintaining Consistent Progress

Although this is obviously a huge improvement, local employers are now being asked to review their processes to ensure they are doing everything they can to avoid accidents and keep their workers safe and healthy.

Over the last 8 years, the records consistently show one of the lowest fatality rates in Europe, and whilst the HSE are keen to acknowledge this great progress, they are also keen to acknowledge that there are still people suffering as a result of failed workplace practices and safety policies, so they must continue to apply pressure to bring down these statistics further.

Some of the most common causes of accidents are hoped to be addressed within the new appeal. These include working at heights, working on machinery or with equipment that is poorly maintained or not properly guarded, and improperly maintained and managed workplace vehicles and transportation.

Health and Safety Training

Here at Health and Safety Training ltd we are fully behind this new appeal, and believe that employers should be doing everything possible to ensure the safety, and protect the lives, of their staff.

One of the most effective ways to do this is to ensure all staff are fully trained in every aspect of their job. This training could be for general health and safety awareness, or it could be specific to a tool, machine or vehicle they are expected to operate.

If you’d like to speak to a member of our team about how we can help you fulfil your duty to protect your staff – simply get in touch today. We’ll be happy to discuss your current training situation and recommend tailored courses that will enhance the safety of your operations.


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