Despite the number of work-related accidents and illnesses in Jersey not having increased since last year, the Island’s Health and Safety Inspectorate says it has been struggling to cope with its workload. To read a copy of the full annual HSI report click here.
‘It is fair to say that 2017 was a particularly challenging year for the Inspectorate,’ she said, ‘largely due to a difficulty in recruitment following the resignation of a qualified inspector in January. This resulted in the already small team being under-resourced for most of the year, and had an impact on the ability of the Inspectorate to carry out some of its planned proactive activities.
‘But now, just this week, we have been able to recruit, and we’re hoping to be able to move forward throughout the rest of this year and into next, and get away from just mopping up the trials and tribulations of the past 12 months.’
The report covers the work of the Inspectorate during 2017, recording the number of workplace accidents and information collected by Social Security on ill health claims that had been made for short-term incapacity benefit.
Figures show that, even though employment in 2017 rose by 2.2 per cent, the number of work-related accidents and ill health claims remained the same as the previous year. And compared to a decade ago, the number had fallen by 34 per cent.
However, despite the statistics showing an improvement, Mrs Fage said that the numbers were still far too high. ‘Whilst this is a positive trend,’ she said, ‘there is still a lot of work to be done to achieve further reductions, as the numbers of people injured or made ill as a result of their work remains far too high.’
She also highlighted the fact that the volume of incidents was not only a stretch on the Inspectorate’s previously limited resources, but also on the resources and economic productivity of the Island as a whole.
‘In addition to the very real impact work-related injury or ill health has on individuals, their families and colleagues, nearly 35,000 working days were lost in 2017 and just over £1 million was paid out in benefit,’ she said.