Archive | October, 2010

Fatality statistics released as company is fined just £1 for worker’s death

27 Oct

The British Safety Council while welcoming the continued downward trend in the published HSE statistics in workplace fatalities and major injuries, urges the government and Lord Young to take great care in the planned reforms of health and safety.

Neal Stone, head of policy and public affairs says: “Although workplace fatal and major injuries fell in 2009/10 the stark reality is that 152 workers were killed and more than 26,000 suffered major injuries. These are real people not cold statistics. They must not be forgotten.

The fine of £1 imposed at Preston Crown Court on Glenmill Group this week following conviction for breach of health and safety law which contributed to worker Peter Walton’s death, sends out all of the wrong messages.

Thousands of workers are still being injured or made ill by work – the 2009/10 stats are evidence that Peter Walton’s preventable death was not an exception but sadly an all too frequent occurrence in a society that has still to grasp the harm and loss that poorly managed health and safety brings. A £1 fine is an insult to Peter Walton’s family.”

For a full copy of the HSE statistics click here>>

Key statistics published by HSE (27 Oct 2010)

  • 1.3 million people who worked during the last year were suffering from an illness (long standing as well as new cases) they believed was caused or made worse by their current or past work. 555 000 of these were new cases.
  • 152 workers were killed at work, a rate of 0.5 per 100 000 workers.
  • 121 430 other injuries to employees were reported under RIDDOR, a rate of 473 per 100 000 employees.
  • 233 000 reportable injuries occurred, according to the Labour Force Survey, a rate of 840 per 100 000 workers.
  • 28.5 million days were lost overall (1.2 days per worker), 23.4 million due to work-related ill health and 5.1 million due to workplace injury.

Life is about understanding, appreciating and managing risks…

26 Oct

The recently published report of the review of health and safety undertaken by Lord Young on behalf of the government includes a number of important recommendations that aim to reduce the burden of red tape standing in the way of school trips and sports activities.  Lord Young made clear that his proposed reforms “ensure that children do not miss out on important experiences.”  Schools will no longer have to complete complex and bureaucratic forms before taking pupils on trips – and parental consent forms will be simplified to cover all activities.

Regrettably school activities have been seriously curtailed in recent years by ill-informed and inexpert ‘experts’ who sadly believe that the best way of managing risk is to stop the activity.  Life is about understanding, appreciating and managing risks – we make judgements about risk every moment of our waking life at home, at work, at school and with other everyday activities. School sports and outdoor activities are vital to the development of children – hopefully Lord Young’s reforms will see them once again form a rewarding part of school life and pupil development.