Farming And Construction Sectors Must Improve Safety, Injury Expert Demands

New HSE Stats Reveal Concerns Over Industries

03.11.2011

Workplace injury lawyers at Irwin Mitchell have urged employers in the agriculture and construction sectors to make improvements to their safety standards, after the Health and Safety Executive revealed they remain amongst the most dangerous industries in Britain.

New figures looking at between April 2010 and March 2011 revealed that the farming industry has a rate of 221.9 workplace injuries per 100,000 employees, while the building trade has a rate of 173.2 major injuries per 100,000 employees.

Overall, the number of people injured or falling sick at work fell over the period, although the number of workers killed was up from 147 in the previous year to 171.

Irwin Mitchell acts for victims of workplace injury across the UK, as well as the families of those who have been killed as a result of avoidable errors or incidents in the workplace.

Stephen Nye, a Partner and workplace injury specialist at the law firm, said: “The drop in the number of people suffering serious injury at work is welcome news, but it is clear there is still a long way to go until all employers recognise the fundamental importance of health and safety.

“It is sadly unsurprising that the number of injuries in farming and construction are so high and it is very clear that a real focus has to be placed on spreading the message of safety at work in these sectors.

“Our work has shown that the most common causes of accidents at work are manual handling, slips and trips and falls from height.  All of these areas are subject to very clear safety regulations, so there is no good reason why this should be the case.

“These figures need to be a wake-up call for employers to encourage them to assess how they comply with safety guidance, consider the potential for improved training and also increase the availability of necessary protective equipment to workers. Proper adherence to the regulations would undoubtedly reduce the number of accidents.

“Because of this, we continue to campaign for employers to recognise their responsibilities and do everything they can to learn from the mistakes of the past and improve safety.”