How to Avoid Becoming a Health and Safety Headline

a summary of January 2018 news to give you insights on most common accidents in the workplace

No one wants to read about health and safety news.

Instead, we’ll try and make this article (about recent news) relevant to you, i.e. how your business can avoid becoming another HSE headline. We’ll summarise the news to give you some trends about the most common accidents in the workplace reported in January 2018.

The trends – Most Common Accidents In The Workplace for January 2018

A review of the HSE’s press releases for January 2018 reveals the following trends:

5 of most common accidents in the workplace that caused serious injury or fatality in January’s headlines:

  • Various involving vehicles;
  • Falls from height;
  • Electrocution;
  • Equipment failure;
  • Hit by falling object.

Most common industries prosecuted in January:

  • Construction;
  • Manufacturing;
  • Contractors (although contracting isn’t specified as an industry type, contractor companies were featured heavily in news).

5 common reasons for prosecution in January:

  • No risk assessment or failure to implement risks assessments;
  • Poor contractor management;
  • Inadequate safe systems for work;
  • Inadequate training competency or poor supervision;
  • Equipment not fit for purpose.

Unfortunately there were more accident types, industries and reasons last month. The above illustrate some of the most commonly weak areas of safety management.

More on how to tackle these areas later.

The Headlines

Below is a brief summary of January 2018’s most recent news headlines from the HSE. You can see all of January’s press releases here.

Contractor fined £45k plus costs when roller shutter damaged market stall. Found to have no risk assessment. Read the full story.

Worker crushed by reversing vehicle. Veolia and London Council were fined over £11k and 100k respectively, plus costs for this serious transportation incident. Causes were found to be failure to provide supervision, inadequate controls for transportation, failure to take into account requirements of ‘vulnerable person’, and loss of communication between contractor and council. Get the full story.

Handyman sentenced for unregistered gas work after putting life of homeowner at significant risk. The man was given an 18 week custodial sentence, and ordered to pay more than £4k in costs and compensation. The handyman’s lack of competency put ‘the homeowner at risk of serious harm or even death’. Get the full story.

Lorry driver fatally crushed between two vehicles. Skip hire company fined £14.5k after failing to implement and follow systems and site rules and operations for loading. Get the full story.

Foundry worker has leg amputated after 2 tonne metal casting falls onto his leg. Foundry fined £21k plus costs of over £23k due to failure to provide a safe system of work and inadequate risk assessment, inadequate provision of training, instruction and supervision. Get the full story.

Waste recycling employee seriously injured in transport accident. Company fined £35k plus costs and were found to have inadequate measures to protect pedestrians from moving vehicles, and that there were insufficient management arrangements to control vehicle movements. Get the full story.

Construction worker receives multiple fractures after fall from height. The construction company was fined 30k plus costs for failure to implement risk assessment to prevent falls. Get the full story.

How to avoid becoming a headline

As mentioned above and evidenced by the repeated trends, there are a lot of areas of safety management that are commonly missed or ineffectively managed.

To go into all of those now would take you all day to read.

Instead, if you still want answers to your safety questions and information on how to avoid the most common accidents in the workplace,  subscribe to our blog? We provide targeted answers to specific problems, with examples.

Risk assessment is a commonly quoted area of non-compliance in the above headlines. Check out our guide on How To Write Really Effective Risk Assessments for a taster of what you can get from our blog.