Plant & Works Engineering

Real H&S risks unveiled

Published:  15 November, 2007

Real H&S risks unveiled


New statistics published by the Health and Safety Commission (HSC) recently, reveal the real risks faced by real people, every day of their working lives and the suffering that occurs when health and safety processes fail. Last year over 140,000 reported workplace accidents took place resulting in employees suffering injuries such as amputations, chemical burns and fractures.

Slamming critics who have repeatedly concentrated on 'elf and safety' stories and the regulator"s role, new Chair of HSC Judith Hackitt said, "Never mind banning conkers or Christmas decorations look at these figures, this is what real health and safety is all about."

Geoffrey Podger, chief executive of the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) said: "The statistics indicate that last year alone in Great Britain 2.2 million people suffered from work related illnesses and 241 people were killed at work. While workplace injuries have reduced, we lost 30 million working days due to ill-health. Last year HSE issued 20% more notices and industry was fined total of over 13 million for flaunting health and safety laws."

Responding to the newly released figures HSC Chair Judith Hackitt said: "Employers have a legal duty to protect their employees and visible leadership from the top of the organisation can truly influence the health and safety culture in our changing work environments. To make workplaces in 21st century Britain healthier and safer we all need to work together to do better.

"We use a range of enforcement measures to tackle workplace ill-health and injuries and we do not hesitate to prosecute where necessary. The rising enforcement figures show that negligence in workplace health and safety is not tolerated. The figures also show that where we have intervened with all industry partners, together we have and can make a difference. We want to continue this. We must remember that with each injury or fatality there is a personal cost and suffering attached and we all therefore need to focus on the real health and safety agenda, not the trivia."