The HSE recently published the provisional statistics for work-related fatal accidents that occurred between 1st April 2016 and 1st March 2017, which continued to reflect the 20-year trend of declining fatality rates. Yet, whilst the United Kingdom has one of the best health and safety systems in the world, 137 people were killed at work and 92 members of the public were fatally injured in work-related accidents.
By examining the figures from the previous year, your organisation may be inspired to bolster your health and safety policies in order to more adequately protect your employees. Here are four key provisional figures from 2016 to 2017:
- Construction: 30 workers died—lower than the five-year average of 39 deaths.
- Agriculture: 27 workers died—lower than the five-year average of 29 deaths.
- Manufacturing: 19 workers died—slightly lower than the five-year average of 20 deaths.
- Waste and recycling: 14 workers died—higher than the five-year average of eight deaths.
To help ensure that your health and safety scheme is thorough and comprehensive, periodically inspect your organisation’s risk management efforts to identify any hazards to better address any potential issues.
Prepare for HSE Inspections: How to Avoid FFI
The HSE’s Fee for Intervention (FFI) scheme has allowed the non-departmental public body to recover costs from organisations that an HSE inspector has deemed to be in ‘material breach’ of health and safety legislation. However, the exact definition of a material breach is vague and left to the discretion of the HSE inspector. What’s more, even though an inspector may intend to examine one aspect of a business, he or she could branch off and discover additional material breaches.
Once a breach has been identified, the business will be charged £129 per hour whilst the inspector investigates and works to resolve the issue. To date, the HSE has recovered nearly £30 million, with the average fee costing each business more than £700. After an invoice has been served, your business has 21 days to either challenge or pay it. However, by paying the invoice, your organisation admits to the breach of health and safety, which the HSE could cite as evidence in future cases against you. If your business chooses to pay the invoice, but does not agree that it was a material breach, be sure to tell the HSE that paying the invoice should not be taken as an admission of guilt.
For that reason, the most beneficial practice that your organisation can implement is a thorough risk management scheme for each task and piece of equipment, and a blanket scheme for your entire organisation. For more information on how your organisation can prioritise health and safety, contact your local A-Plan commercial branch today.