Legal Article - Health & Safety

Preventing Accidents that Lead to Injury and Ill-Health

A large number of incidents are caused by the same basic health and safety mistakes that have been injuring and killing people for decades. Here are just a few key areas that the HSE have identified as being causes of occupational accidents leading injury and ill-health.

• Working from ladders - Almost a 20% of reportable falls from height in the workplace caused when working from ladders. Whether it is a poorly maintained ladder, or incorrect use, or simply a ladder that is not fit for purpose, it’s an issue HSE Inspectors come across frequently;

• Working at height - One in every 12 recordable injuries in Britain’s workplaces is a result of a fall. Falls account for around 700,000 lost working days annually. HSE Inspectors repeatedly see people working on roofs or scaffolding without appropriate safeguards.

• Workplace transport – Vehicle-related incidents are a major cause of concern, accounting for about around 50 deaths and more than 1,500 injuries annually. Ensure your employees follow rules such as keeping vehicles and people apart and make sure loads are properly secured when being moved.

• Machinery safety guards - There are around a dozen deaths and 40,000 injuries each year due to incidents where workers have been using machines, and most of these are easily prevented. HSE Inspectors often witness the aftermath of horrific incidents caused by poorly maintained machinery; particularly those with dangerous moving parts.

• Unhygienic or non-existent welfare facilities - HSE Inspectors have exposed some filthy and inadequate workplace bathrooms and kitchen areas. Poor sanitation and cleanliness can be a breeding ground for all types of diseases. Workers should have access to clean toilets, wash basins, drinking water and a means to heat food.


Every workplace is full of potential hazards. There are many hazards that could be said to be particular to the agricultural industry, but no matter what your workplace consists of or where it is, you will be presented with a range of potential hazards on a daily basis.

Author: Ernie Taylor

Published: 19 Sep 2016

Edited: 19 Sep 2016


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