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HSE lobbies industry to reduce accidents

12 March 2008

Almost half of the 11,000 injuries, reported to the UK Health and Safety Executive (HSE) last year, occurred in the construction, building and plant maintenance industries. In response to the alarming figures, revealed this week, the HSE has launched a campaign, titled ‘Shattered Lives’, to combat the problem.

A model, painted to look like a shattered figure, poses outside
A model, painted to look like a shattered figure, poses outside

On average, every 25 minutes, someone breaks or fractures a bone at work and every week, one person dies from a slip, trip or fall.

‘Each year slips, trips and falls cost the British society nearly £811 million with £139 million of this coming from the construction, building and plant maintenance industries,’ said Dr Elizabeth Gibby, head of the Injuries Reduction Programme at the HSE. ‘But what these figures don’t reflect, is the extent to which these injuries affect individual workers and their families.’

Gibby said slips, trips and falls are sometimes viewed with amusement but stressed that the effects, including disability, time off work and fatalities, were often far from funny.

‘If you spot a hazard don’t assume somebody else will sort it out,’ she said.

‘Slips, trips and falls can also have a shattering effect on businesses through costs such as employee absence, sick pay and reduced productivity. Irrespective of the size of the business and the job that you do, it could happen to you.’


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