West Suffolk: Hundreds of council working days lost due accidents

West Suffolk House in Bury which is home to St Edmundsbury Borough Council

West Suffolk House in Bury which is home to St Edmundsbury Borough Council - Credit: Archant

MORE than 450 working days have been lost in a year by west Suffolk councils because staff have been involved in accidents.

Incidents reported to bosses at St Edmundsbury Borough Council and Forest Heath District Council in 2012/13 include 16 cases of violence or verbal abuse and two injuries caused by animals.

However the main cause of staff absence at both councils was put down to slips, trips and falls.

According to figures to be considered by the West Suffolk Joint Health and Safety Panel, out of the 18 employee accidents in Forest Heath there were three trips and falls in Forest Heath.

Those three incidents accounted for 211 days lost, two thirds of the 333.5 days lost during the 12 month period.

In St Edmundsbury out of 82 incidents involving staff, three related to violence or verbal abuse, nine concerned being hit by a moving object and 17 were slips, trips and falls.

Despite having more than four times as many incidents, there were nearly three times less number of days lost.

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Out of those 118.5 days lost, 37 were due to “manual handling” incidents, seven were a result of falls and 56 were caused by another sort of accident.

The report, which is due to be discussed on February 18, also lists accidents involving members of the public.

It states that In St Edmundsbury there have been 43 incidents in the last year, including two recorded as near misses. Eleven accidents took place in the town’s car parks, with seven accidents and incidents reported in Abbey Gardens.

The majority of incidents were described as slips, trips and falls, although there were also three non sporting accidents involving children and two that were attributed to animals.

In Forest Heath there were 11 incidents overall, with two taking place in Mildenhall Bus Station.

Again the most common incident was described as a trip or fall and there were also two “near misses”.

A spokeswoman for St Edmundsbury Borough Council and Forest Heath District Council said that it was important to record incidents to make sure improvements could be made.

She added: “Although the number of accidents/incidents may appear low, the impact on individuals can be heavy. Recording accidents/incidents, including near misses, helps us to understand the effectiveness of the measures we put in place to control the risks on our premises. As part of our monitoring, we investigate incidents to ensure that any corrective action is taken, learning is shared and any necessary improvements are put in place.”

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