HSE targets safety in the workplace

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The Health and Safe Executive (HSE) has launched an awareness campaign following statistics that show that 1,085 people in Devon and Cornwall suffered serious injury in the workplace last year as result of a slip, trip, or fall.

And St Just-based Warrens Bakery is lending its support the second phase of the Shattered Lives campaign, which aims to highlight the devastating consequences of such accidents in the workplace and to encourage employers, in consultation with their employees, to ‘take action’.

Susan Powell, health and safety manager of Warren’s said: “We have all fallen from slipping at some time or other, and no doubt have been surprised with what a ‘whack’ we have got either by the landing or by banging our head on something.

“Imagine the added effect on someone who is more vulnerable such as a pregnant mum, elderly person or someone with health issues. Or think of the additional injuries which could be sustained by staff who are dealing with ovens and carrying extremely hot freshly baked pasties and sausage-rolls etc. At Warren’s we have to take slips, trips and falls seriously in all our shops, as such an accident can be a life changing experience for the person and their family, whether customer or staff. 

Max Walker, HSE head of operations, south west, said: “People often view slips, trips and falls as trivial incidents, even comical, but they are no joke to those who suffer major injuries, a lifetime of disability, time off work and in the worst cases death. 

“We want to raise awareness of how these incidents can happen and how they can be easily avoided by taking common sense actions and precautions at no or little cost. If you spot a hazard in your workplace deal with it, don’t assume that somebody else will.”

Fatalities and serious injuries arising from slips, trips and fall incidents cost Britain an estimated £700 million last year.

The campaign is targeted at seven sectors where there is a prevalence of such injuries: food retail, catering and hospitality, food and drink manufacturing, building and plant maintenance, construction, healthcare and education, although the risks can occur in any workplace.