St John Ambulance are urging businesses to think carefully about first aid and health and safety in their workplaces. St John Ambulance’s training facility in Newport has already seen over 550 employees from local businesses and members of the public pass through its doors in the first six months of 2011 but the charity still believes there is much more that can be done.
Statistics released by the Health and Safety Executive at the beginning of July show an increase in the number of workplace fatalities in the south east in 2010/2011.
Figures show that during the period 2009/2010, 14 people died at work across the region but unfortunately in the same period of 2010/2011 there were 18 workplace fatalities. Nationally there was also an increase to 171 fatalities mainly in the agriculture and construction industries.
St John Ambulance’s Regional Training Manger for the south east, Ralph Brown says:
‘It is worrying to see that the number of workplace deaths has risen in this region. This should be a stark reminder to all employers not to let health and safety slip down their list of priorities. The planned reduction in HSE inspection should not be interpreted as a reason to lose focus on workplace safety. It’s vital that all employers make the necessary efforts to ensure their health and safety provision is up-to-scratch, covering risk management and prevention, as well as having the skills and equipment in place to respond when an accident does occur. If not they face severe consequences.’
Each year up to 150,000* people die in situations where first aid could have given them a chance to live and research carried out by the charity last year revealed that a third of people surveyed in the south east wouldn’t feel confident trying to save a life.
‘First aid training, for example, is far too often seen as a regulatory tick box by employers, rather than a necessary life skill, but it does save lives. With some 59% of people wanting first aid training in the workplace, businesses have the perfect opportunity to help reduce this figure before the progress made in previous years is lost and more unnecessary workplace deaths occur. Our venue on the Isle of Wight provides a local facility in which we train people to be the difference between a life lost and a life saved without them having to travel across to take courses on the mainland so it’s important that people take advantage of it.’
For first aid advice and details of St John Ambulance courses for workplaces or the general public on the Isle of Wight and the south east visit www.sja.org.uk/training or call 0844 324 5535
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