Danger is lurking at workplace

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LARGE numbers of Wigan workers are still being seriously hurt at work, it’s been revealed.

Staff at factories and on building sites across the borough suffered the second highest number of major injuries across the entire North West region, says the Health and Safety Executive in its end of year report.

But at least the number of victims - more than 126 Wigan staff were hospitalised because of a serious workplace incident - was down on last year’s total of 153.

The HSE is warning today that there is no room for complacency, despite the total number of work-related fatalities across the North West - there were none in Wigan this year - being at a record low.

According to figures released for 2009/10, fewer people in Greater Manchester are being fatally injured at work. Four people were fatally injured in 2009/10, while nine people died in 2008/09. There were a total of 1,252 major workplace injuries, down 21 from the previous year.

There were 3,301 serious workplace injuries recorded in the North West last year compared to 3,432 in 2008/9 and 19 deaths - four fewer than the previous year.

As well as the tragic human cost, it’s now estimated that workplace injuries are costing the country a staggering £800m a year.

Regional Director of the Health and Safety Executive in the North West, David Sowerby, said: “The fall in numbers of workers killed or injured through their work is encouraging but employers cannot get complacent.

“They must stay vigilant and learn the lessons from the past to ensure that they protect their workers in the future.”

A Leigh firm was ordered to pay £11,517 after one of its workers was seriously injured when a wall collapsed on him.

The Health and Safety Executive prosecuted Hughes Brothers Building and Joinery following the incident at a site on Millers Lane, Platt Bridge.

The company, which is based in Hope Carr Way in Leigh, pleaded guilty to a charge under the Health and Safety at Work Act and was fined £8,000 and ordered to pay costs of £3,517.

Trafford Magistrates Court heard that worker Scott Hutchinson from Golborne was helping to demolish offices at the site when a wall collapsed on him. He suffered multiple injuries, including fractures to his left leg, collar bone and arm and in juries to the vertebrae in his upper and lower back.

He was off work almost one and a half years.