LETTER: Time to improve health and safty in the workplace

Last year, 173 people were killed and 111,000 were injured in workplaces across the UK. We think just one death is one too many, so these figures are a real concern.

In East Lancashire last year, workers saw justice when two divisions of an aerospace company were fined, after two workers were injured while pushing a trolley into an industrial oven. A panel on a walkway collapsed and the trolley toppled metal girders and tools onto the two men. Both workers suffered major injuries, but one, a 50 year-old father-of-two and grandfather from Rishton, died in hospital the next day from chest injuries.

It’s so important that worker protection is given proper attention, especially during times of austerity, when staffing levels can be squeezed and workloads increase.

Good health and safety can also play an important part in driving efficiencies, reducing lost work days, and sustaining a thriving business.

It’s not only employers and employees that need to think carefully about health and safety but the Government does too. Ministers are reviewing health and safety legislation, in a drive to cut what it calls “red tape”.

Part of this could see the abolition of the Management of Health & Safety Regs Approved Code of Practice (ACoP) – a document many organisations utilise to manage risk, and prevent accidents and fatalities.

The Institution of Occupational Safety and Health (IOSH) is calling for people to save the ACoP and has set up e-petition 46262, urging the Government to improve and retain what already exists.

Help us to continue to combat workplace accidents, and sign the IOSH e-petition by visiting the direct.gov website now.

Together, we can keep each other a little safer at work.

Michael Sagar

Chair of the IOSH East Lancashire District