Lawyer Backs Campaign To Keep Cumbrian Workers Safe

HSE Hold Event To Provide Safety Advice

26.01.2011

A leading injury lawyer has backed a campaign to reduce the ‘worryingly high’ number of deaths and serious injuries that happen to people whilst working in the Cumbrian countryside.

Roger Maddocks, partner and industrial accident specialist says still too many people are being killed at work in avoidable accidents in Cumbria, especially in the agriculture sector where someone was killed or seriously injured on average every five weeks.

The latest statistics from the HSE show that from April 2009 to April 2010, five people died whilst at work in Cumbria – two in Allerdale, two in South Lakeland and one in Barrow-in-Furness – whilst a further 261 people were seriously injured. The death rate matches the more heavily-populated areas of Greater Manchester and Merseyside combined.

The warning came as the Health and Safety Executive held an event in Carlisle giving free advice to agricultural employers in January on how to improve safety and reduce the number of people being needlessly injured.

Maddocks said agriculture as an industry was prone to a far higher accident rate than any other sector – only construction comes remotely close.

He said: “More than a third of the people who died at work in the whole of the North West last year (14), died in Cumbria. The link between agriculture and serious or fatal injuries is too frequent to ignore and we applaud the HSE for attempting to tackle the problem at its source.

“No matter which way you look at the figures, five deaths last year is five deaths too many. Beyond the cold statistics are lives and families that are being devastated by deaths should be avoidable if proper health and safety procedures are in place and adhered to.

“Farming is an integral part of life and the economy in Cumbria and it is essential that the region’s safety record is improved.”

Maddocks reiterated calls for the Government to set up an Employers’ Liability Insurance Bureau, a fund that would protect workers who have been injured at work in cases where no insurer can be traced.