Businesses urged to focus on safety

Bradford Telegraph and Argus: Dr John Rowe Dr John Rowe

Bosses have been warned to make the safety of their workers their top priority for 2014, after new figures showed the number of people being killed at work is on the rise.
Seven people lost their lives while at work in West Yorkshire between April 2012 and April 2013, two more than the previous year, according to new Health and Safety Executive (HSE) statistics.
The tragedies represented nearly half of all fatalities in the Yorkshire and Humber region, which suffered 15 deaths in total.
In total, 148 people were killed at work throughout Britain. High-risk industries include construction, agriculture, manufacturing and waste and recycling, which together accounted for more than two-thirds of deaths nationally.
None of the fatalities happened in Bradford.
The new figures also reveal the number of major injuries suffered in the workplace. In Bradford, there were 134 major injuries suffered, a reduction of 51 from the year before.
The Yorkshire and Humber region has also seen a significant fall in the number of serious injuries, from 2,239 in 2011/12 to 1,877 in 2012/13.
Dr John Rowe, HSE head of operations for Yorkshire and the Humber, said: “It is heartening to see that there was a significant drop in the number of major injuries in the region.
“However, the families of those 15 workers in Yorkshire and the Humber who lost their lives last year had to face Christmas without them. And there are still hundreds of workers who suffer life-changing injury and debilitation because of a major injury.
“While the number of workplace deaths and major injuries has decreased nationally, these statistics, and the human cost behind them, highlight why we still need good health and safety in workplaces.
“Employers could do their staff and their businesses a good deed by spending time tackling the real dangers that workers face, in the factories, on the building sites, in the workshops and on the farms.
“It’s important to remember that while we still have one of the lowest rates of workplace deaths in Europe, one death is still one too many. I would urge businesses to focus on helping to cut the number of deaths in 2014.”

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