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DOUBLE STANDARDS TO BLAME FOR INCREASING WORKPLACE
FALLS IN SCOTLAND
Already the biggest cause of workplace injuries in Scotland with 3,727 incidents reported to the authorities last year, the opinion survey reveals that an attitude of 'It's not my responsibility' is to blame for ignoring slip and trip hazards at work, with over a third of those surveyed admitting that they are more likely to clear up a spillage or mess in their own home than at work.
"When one in six of the employees surveyed in Scotland has suffered an injury from a slip or trip incident at work, the extent of the problem is plain to see and it can have an acute effect on both the individuals and businesses involved," said Justin McCracken, Acting Chief Executive, HSE.
Nationally, a slip or trip incident takes place every three minutes and every hour someone breaks a bone. All in all, it is estimated that workplace falls cost the UK economy approximately £800 million each year, of which £500 million is directly borne by businesses.
According to the survey, tripping over an uneven floor covering is the most common cause of a slip or trip incident in Scotland accounting for nearly a quarter of workplace falls - a hazard that can easily be removed at little cost to individual businesses.
"To address the problem there really needs to be a shift in workplace attitude from 'ignore it' to 'do something about it'. Every employee needs to take this on board so that incidents are prevented before it's too late. Our message is clear - don't just see it, sort it," Justin McCracken continued.
Watch Your Step is a cross-industry campaign in partnership with other stakeholders, including Local Authorities, which aims to combat the increasing number of workplace falls by highlighting the scale of the problem for UK businesses; encouraging people to take the risks seriously; and raising awareness about cost-effective measures that can be put in place to reduce incidents and keep the costs to a minimum.
More information and practical tips on how to minimise risks can be
1. The Health and Safety Executive
Pedestrian slipping and tripping is the most common cause of workplace injuries in the UK. Each year slips and trips cause over 40,000 serious injuries. Cumulatively, this costs the UK economy and employers an estimated £800 million and £500 million respectively and can cause considerable distress for those affected.
3. UK Workers Slips and Trips Opinion Survey 2005
4. Health and Safety Statistics Highlights
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