FIRMS are being urged to make workers’ safety the top priority in 2014 after 60 people were seriously hurt at work in St Helens.
The new appeal from the Health and Safety Executive follows the publication of figures showing that 15 people lost their lives at work in the North West in 2012/13 and 2,337 – 60 of them in St Helens – suffered a major injury.
This compares to 25 deaths and 2,682 major injuries in 2011/12 a period in which 54 people in St Helens suffered serious injury at work. Provisional figures show the number of deaths across Great Britain has fallen in the last year, with 148 people killed at work, compared to 171 deaths during 2011/12.
More than 20,600 workers also suffered a major injury in 2012/13, representing a 10.8 percent drop on the previous year. Five in every million workers were killed while at work between April 2012 and March 2013.
High-risk industries include construction which had 39 deaths last year, farming with 29 deaths, manufacturing with 20 deaths and waste and recycling with 10 deaths.
Rick Brunt, HSE’s regional operations’ boss, said: “The families of those workers in the North West who lost their lives last year had to face Christmas without them and hundreds of other workers have had their lives changed forever by a major injury.
“While the number of workplace deaths and major injuries has decreased nationally, these statistics highlight why we still need to manage risk in workplaces.
“I urge employers to focus their efforts on tackling the real dangers that workers face and stop worrying about trivial matters or devoting excessive time to paperwork.
“It’s important to remember that while we still have one of the lowest rates of workplace deaths in Europe, one death is still one too many. I would urge businesses to focus on good management of risk to help to further cut the number of deaths and injuries in 2014.”