HSC wants safety record included in company reports

The
Health and Safety Commission is calling on employers to include safety records
in annual reports, despite a fall in the number of fatal accidents at work last
year.

HSC
chair Bill Callaghan, who revealed that the number of deaths at work dropped by
15 per cent last year, said employers must do more to improve safety by
introducing better reporting of accidents, increased training and more risk
assessments.

"Risk
assessments are not an optional extra and our task now is sustained
improvement. This can only be achieved through partnership between employers,
workers, trade unions and safety reps," he said.

Callaghan,
speaking at a briefing announcing the latest HSC figures, called for more
safety targets to be set up by individual companies so managers could benchmark
their track record against other firms and sectors.

HSC
statistics show the number of deaths at work has fallen to 249 employees killed
in 2001-02.

The
rate of fatal injuries also dropped from 1.03 to 0.88 per 100,000 staff, with
falls and being struck by moving objects the most common causes of death.

Even
with this year’s drop, the figures are still 13 per cent higher than two years
ago, due to a huge rise in 2000-01 which saw deaths climb from 220 to 292.

"The
rate of fatal accidents is still higher than it should be and the each year
fatalities are occurring in the same way. We need to engage more managers and
get the whole supply chain thinking about safety," said Callaghan.

The
HSC also wants training schemes to be ongoing rather than one-off and is
working with financial experts to decide what indicators could be used in
company reports.

Callaghan
said health and safety should be considered as part of the wider debate on
corporate social responsibility stating that how safely a company treats its
people is a big part of that agenda.

www.hsc.gov.uk

By
Ross Wigham

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