Concern grows at rate of injuries in the workplace

Jonathan Wheeler,  president of APIL.

Jonathan Wheeler, president of APIL.

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South Holland has one of the highest rates of workplace injuries in the country, according to latest figures.

The statistics have been released by the national not-for-profit campaign group for injured people, the Association of Personal Lawyers (APIL).

The group is also attempting to highlight the level of suffering behind the figures for workers in the area.

The figures show that in South Holland 558 workplace injuries were reported to the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) for every 100,000 employees in the area for the year 2014-15.

The overall workplace injury rate nationally is just 288.

But the group is also anxious that health and safety is often seen as additional red tape for business.

As a result, the group is worried that health and safety may be targeted for cost-saving cut backs.

APRL president Jonathan Wheeler said: “In many cases, workplace injuries happen when someone did not take proper care to protect employees and colleagues.

“Suffering lies behind these figures and an injury can often have a knock-on effect on the injured person’s family, particularly if he or she is unable to work or care for children while during recovery, or needs help with day-to-day living.

Mr Wheeler said: “Some areas are more likely to have more injuries because of the nature of the local industry.

“Agriculture, forestry, and fishing are the most dangerous industries for workers.

“Agriculture has the most workplace injuries and fatalities by far.

“But every worker in every industry should be able to expect to turn up for a day’s work and return home unharmed.

He added: “What we want is to encourage respect for the health and safety legislation put in place to protect workers

“Health and safety are often considered to be ‘red tape’ and cutting red tape is high on the Government’s agenda.

Mr Wheeler said: “The safety of our workforces, however, is more important than anything else.”

According to the figures, the highest rate of workplace injuries was 1,390 per 100,000 employees in the North Warwickshire local authority area.

The lowest was 542.4 in the Vale of Glamorgan.

Mr Wheeler added: “We works on a number of employment injury-related issues.

“Our current campaigns include action to increase the level of bereavement damages in England and Wales.

“This would include people killed at work.

At the moment it is a statutory sum of £12,980.”

In addition, the group is trying to secure a repeal of section 69 of the Enterprise and Regulatory Reform Act (2013).

This removes civil liability on the part of employers for breach of health and safety regulations.

Mr Wheeler said: “This Act has turned the law back 100 years.”