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Issues New Year Safety Message For North West Businesses

A total of 19,135 people were killed or injured in work-related incidents across the North West of England last year according to the latest figures from the Health and Safety Executive (HSE). That’s an average of almost 368 incidents every week.

The toll, which includes 28 deaths, is a stark reminder to the region’s employers and their staff that they should resolve to make their workplaces safer in 2009.

David Sowerby, the HSE’s North West Regional Operations Manager, said: “Behind these statistics are cases of real suffering and, for some, hardship through loss of income. We are asking that businesses take practical action to manage the risks people face in their day-to-day work.

“Each year at this time HSE reflects on the number of incidents in the preceding 12 months, and each year the same patterns are repeated. Again, our inspectors have found that falling from height and being struck by falling or moving objects were among the chief causes of death and injury. If workplaces could eliminate these factors, both of them avoidable, these startling figures would be hugely reduced. HSE is here to address the very serious health and safety issues at the root of these statistics, not the banning of people playing conkers.”

HSE urges businesses to act by:

  • Using safe platforms with guarded edges for working at height;
  • Securing ladders properly where these have to be used;
  • Securing loads before moving them;
  • Laying workplaces out to keep vehicles and pedestrians apart, where possible.

David Sowerby said: “Simple assessments of risk, ease of tasks, accessibility, exposure to harmful substances and training can prevent many incidents.

“HSE works with a number of partners to provide free advice and education to those both carrying out and managing work and we need businesses and self-employed people to work with us to help reduce injuries and make the North West a safer place to work.

“Each of the injuries catalogued here is not only a personal tragedy for the individual concerned and their family, it also translates into lost working time and a cost to the business involved. When it comes to workplace safety we cannot be complacent, we all have a role to play in 2009.”

Source: HSE

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