In the wake of shocking statistics, the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) has launched a new phase of its Shattered Lives campaign which aims to reduce the number of slips, trips and falls in the workplace.
HSE figures show that slips, trips and falls are the most common cause of workplace injury in Britain. Last year alone around 15,000 British workers suffered major injuries and 30,000 people were absent from work for more than 3 days as a result of falls at work. Perhaps most shockingly, 40 workers died last year after a slip or trip at work. According to official statistics, more workplace deaths occur as a result of falls from a height than any other cause.
As well as costing workers throughout the UK their lives, the HSE warns that these slips, trips and falls are also having a serious financial impact on the country. They estimate that the combined financial cost to society is around £800 million each year. At a time when many individuals and businesses alike are struggling to recover from the recent recession, this figure is no small concern.
The HSE is hoping that its hard-hitting Shattered Lives campaign can reduce these figures by raising awareness of the impact of slips, trips and falls in the workplace and directing people to the campaign website for practical advice and guidance. It is targeted at those sectors with the highest recorded numbers of these types of accidents each year, namely, health and social care, education, food manufacturing, food retail, catering and hospitality, building and plant maintenance, and construction.
HSE General Secretary Brendan Barber, said: "Every one of the 40 deaths caused by slips, trips and falls were preventable. The key is proper risk assessment and control measures as highlighted by the HSE. Unions will warmly welcome this practical hard-hitting campaign and will be raising the issue with employers wherever and whenever they can."