Employers ‘Must Make Safety Their Top Priority In 2015’

Legal Experts Call For Action After New HSE Figures Are Released


Specialist workplace injury lawyers have called on all employers to make the health and safety of their workers an absolute priority in the New Year, after new figures from the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) revealed the continued need for improvements.

New statistics on workplace injuries and illness have been released as the HSE marks the 40th anniversary of when it was established, with the figures revealed how 133 people were killed and more than 79,500 injuries in Great Britain being reported across 2013/14.

Irwin Mitchell’s specialist Workplace Injury team, which represents those who have been seriously or fatally injured at work, have welcomed the release of the figures as a “stark reminder” of the vital work that needs to be done to make further improvements on health and safety.

The experts work to help families and victims gain both vital financial support and also secure answers regarding the ordeals they have faced.

Expert Opinion
The release of these statistics so shortly after the New Year is an important and stark reminder of the severe consequences that health and safety failings at work can have. Health and safety is often derided and wrongly blamed for all manner of things. However, these figures show it remains a serious matter and failings can have grave consequences.

"It is vital that employers of all sizes in all sectors ensure that one of their key New Year’s resolutions for the next 12 months is a major focus on ensuring a high quality, consistent standard of health and safety is enforced in their workplaces.

"Key approaches include ensuring that staff are properly trained for all of the tasks expected of them, the provision of the necessary protective equipment to help them work safely and steps to risk assess all projects. Employers owe employees and workers under their control a duty to ensure that they are safe at work. That duty has to be taken seriously and employers should take all reasonably practicable steps to comply with it.

"Good health and safety is good for business, as it reduces the number of accidents and time away from work due to injury.

"The figures speak for themselves in terms of the fact that simply too many people are killed and injured at work every year.

"Sadly, our work on behalf of victims and families means we also see just how many of the ordeals they have been through could have been avoided, primarily through risk assessments or something as basic as providing the right equipment for the task at hand.

"Workplace injury and fatality figures have been moving in the right direction for several years and this is of course fantastic. However, the foot must not come off the pedal when it comes to this issue and it is vital that employers understanding that safety must come first in 2015."
Stephen Nye, Partner