2009 SAFELEC figures

13 August 2009

Latest safety figures

Peter McCormick, Chair of ENA’s Safety Health and Environment Committee and Company-side Chair of the National HESAC, which produced the SAFELEC report, said: “The eighth year of figures from SAFELEC 2010 programme offer both reasons for optimism about the approach the industry is taking to improve safety and a reminder of the challenges we still face.  

“The best news comes from the headline figures measuring the number days lost due to injury and also the incidence rate for fatal and major injuries. These have been reduced for both employees and contractors. However, even this aspect of the figures is tempered by the tragic fatality to one of our industry’s employees.

“More bad news is the occupational health performance last year – both the overall working days lost due to ill health and in particular the figures for ‘stress’ showed a marked increase.”

Mike Clancy, Deputy General Secretary of the trade union Prospect, said: “The 2008 figures related to work related ill health incidence and work related stress continue to be a cause for concern reflecting what many staff regard as the unrelenting pace of change in the industry. Given we are set for a huge surge of investment in pursuit of the low carbon energy future described in government policy then the demands being made are not going to diminish and so we need to consider at industry and company level what needs to be done to address the pressures reflected in these results.

Nick Summers, Head of Utilities Section at the Health and Safety Executive, said: “HSE has recently launched its new Strategy. This was fully supported by National HESAC and I am pleased the industry has signed up to be “part of the solution” to reduce deaths, injuries and ill health. Proactive work is being taken forward by all sides to identify how the industry can contribute to the delivery of the Strategy. Elements such as the ENA’s recent behavioural research provides a vital insight into wider issues and will help steer future priorities.

“There is clearly however no magic wand in health and safety - strong organisational leadership, together with the involvement of workers to tackle risks, can however build a foundation for sustained future improvement.

Peter McCormick added: “ENA and it members remain committed to taking a proactive approach to improve safety. We will use the information and insights gained from SAFELEC to identify issues we need to focus on. SAFELEC 2010 has two years left to run and ENA Member Companies have already begun, in partnership with the trade unions and HSE, to consider the lessons learned from the current initiative and to discuss issues and priorities to be addressed in the coming decade.“