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High Number Of Accidents And Injuries In Inspection Exempt Occupations

17th December 2013
The highest risk of fatality and serious injury occurs in over 50 per cent or around 40 industry sectors where risk assessments and safety inspections are excluded, according to new research, which looked more closely at 2011-12 statistics.

The finding are in addition to a lack of risk assessment or continuing negligence shown by company employers, which lead to the high number of incidents detailed on accident claims forms and heard at injury compensation hearings.

The Health & Safety Executive (HSE) had previously reported that the 2011-12 figures of 22,433 major workplace injuries reported to have been suffered by employees were slightly down on the 2010-11 total of 24,944.

The latest study seems to support the findings of RIDDOR, which also previously found that a further 111,000 other injuries needed to be accounted for across the UK workforce.

According to a recent study of more than twenty HSE reports, 258 fatalities occurred in HSE-enforced workplaces between April 2011 and October 2012. Just over half took place in 37 industry sectors categorised as “exempt” from unannounced health and safety inspections.

Previously, HSE surveys have tended to repeatedly find that Construction, Agriculture and the Waste and Recycling industries to be the highest risk where workers are most likely to suffer injury or ill health as a direct result of their occupation.

It now seems that many uninspected sectors, including agriculture, quarries, plastics and electricity generation, may contribute to a far higher number of occupational injuries. The implication is that there could be many companies who are neglecting to fully comply with The Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974, which requires employers to ensure a duty of care to their workforce, because it is unlikely they will receive an HSE inspection.

The study drew up the following list of industry sectors its says are exempt from inspection:

A: Agriculture, air
B: Bricks
C: Cement products, ceramics, clothing, computer products, concrete products, courier services,
D: Docks
E: Education provision [local authority], electrical engineering, electricity generation, electronic products, emergency services
F: Fabricated metal products, footwear
G: Glass and glazing
H: Health care
L:  Laundries, leather, light engineering
M: Mineral industries
O:  Optical products, other food and drink, other manufacturing industries
P: Paper and board, plastics, postal services, printing, prisons
Q: Quarries
R: Road haulage, rubber
S: Social care
T: Textiles, transport sector