EMPLOYERS have been urged to make their workplaces safer after it emerged 373 people were injured at work in Chester last year.
The Health and Safety Executive’s (HSE) new year safety message reported that in the North West as a whole, 19,135 people had been killed or injured in workplace accidents.
In Cheshire, five people died and 2,929 were injured.
In Vale Royal there were 301 injuries while Ellesmere Port and Neston saw 190.
David Sowerby, the HSE’s North West regional operations manager, said: “Behind these statistics are cases of real suffering and, for some, hardship through loss of income.
“We are asking that businesses take practical action to manage the risks people face in their day-to-day work.
“Each year at this time, the HSE reflects on the number of incidents in the preceding 12 months, and each year the same patterns are repeated.
“Again, our inspectors have found that falling from height and being struck by falling or moving objects were among the chief causes of death and injury.
“If workplaces could eliminate these factors, these startling figures would be hugely reduced.
“The HSE is here to address the very serious health and safety issues at the root of these statistics.”
Simple assessments of risk, ease of tasks, accessibility, exposure to harmful substances and training could help reduce the toll.
The HSE works with a number of partners to provide free advice and education to those carrying out and managing work and is calling for businesses and self-employed people to work with them to help reduce injuries.
Mr Sowerby added: “Each of the injuries catalogued here is not only a personal tragedy for the individual concerned and their family, it also translates into lost working time and a cost to the business involved.
“When it comes to workplace safety we cannot be complacent – we all have a role to play in 2009.”
The HSE urges businesses to act by:
Using safe platforms with guarded edges for working at height;
Securing ladders properly where these have to be used;
Securing loads before moving them; and
Laying workplaces out to keep vehicles and pedestrians apart.