In the UK, slipping, tripping, or falling can be costly to employers and can put a worker’s life at risk. Slips, trips & falls cost the UK around £800M per year and result in roughly 40 deaths. These facts, provided by HSE, have been publicized as the organization launches a new campaign to reduce workplace accidents.
Statistics from HSE indicate the slipping and falling happen frequently and are the number one cause of serious injury in British workplaces. Deaths due to falling from heights are the most common cause of workplace deaths.
Along with the 40 deaths, UK workers experienced fifteen thousand serious injuries and thirty thousand workers required a leave from their jobs of more than three days. This figure is astounding and should be addressed.
Though deaths and serious injuries are tragic events in UK workplaces, they also have a huge financial cost on the nation. The costs associated with workplace injuries and deaths are estimated to cost society roughly eight hundred million pounds, at a time when the economic downturn has already created a challenge for individuals and businesses struggling to stay afloat.
The HSE program, Shattered Lives, is an attempt to reduce the number of slips and fall in UK workplaces. One facet of the program is to increase public awareness of the workplace hazards leading to injuries and deaths from falls. The HSE has also created am internet link for the public, for advice and guidelines to make the workplace safer from slip and fall injuries.
A focus of the campaign is aimed toward industries where a high percentage of slips and falls occur annually. Sectors such as health care, public and private education, food service and processing, catering and hospitality, building and facility maintenance, and construction, are all areas where high numbers of workplace injuries and deaths have occurred, due to trips and falls.
The website linked to the campaign provides plenty of helpful information on how workers, managers, and shop owners can decrease the number of accidents due to tripping and falling in the workplace. They can also read about the efforts other companies are undergoing to reduce the number of injuries and accidents of this nature. There are first-hand accounts of what some well-known organizations are doing, in terms of improving workplace safety.
The website includes some useful guidelines, like the STEP and WAIT kits, which advise organizations on how to make working at heights safer and how to prevent falls in general. The guidelines also provide advice and how to properly clean up spills, prevent fall hazards in common walking and working areas, and how to properly use equipment to work at heights.
The Head of the HSE Work and Environment Division, Peter Brown, has advised that the current figures suggest a serious problem exists in UK workplaces, in terms of accident and injury due to trips and falls. While they may seem humorous to some, they have a permanent negative impact on British workers.
Experts believe that improving workplace safety is not as much about spending money, as it is looking for potential causes of slips and falls. Considering risks and steps to reduce the risks are key ways that both public and private organizations can reduce the number of workplace deaths and injuries due to slips and falls.
About the author
Robert Park is a director of Sedgwick Legal, the personal injury solicitors Manchester, who have been providing first class legal advice and support for almost 50 years, still acting for clients who first enlisted their help all those years ago. Robert is well respected within the legal industry and also enjoys blogging, football and has an interest in history.