The best business advice, opinion, news and expertise in Greater Manchester and further afield.

Friday, 29 July 2011

Guest Blog

Alex Swift, Regional Director at St John Ambulance in the North West

Provisional figures released by the HSE recently show a worrying increase in the number of fatal accidents in the North West. In 2010/11 there were 23* fatal accidents in the region, a 35% rise on the 2009/10 figures. The region also has the highest average of fatal accidents based on figures for the past five years.

It is worrying to see that the number of workplace deaths has risen in the 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.

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. We know that up to 150,000 people die in situations where first aid could have given them the chance to live. 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.

St John Ambulance has 24 training venues across the North West and can also deliver a range of courses in first aid and health and safety in the workplace. Chamber of Commerce members are entitled to a 10% discount off all St John Ambulance commercial courses in the North West. Call 0844 770 4800 or visit

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