First Minister for Wales Rhodri Morgan signed the pledge on behalf of the Welsh Assembly Government. Five people in Wales died as a result of work-related incidents in 2008-2009, and more than 1,600 suffered major injuries at work. Over the same period, 1.5 million working days were lost in Wales due to workplace injury and work-related ill health.
“The Welsh Assembly Government has responsibility for business, economy and the health service, all of which are adversely impacted by work-related ill health,” said Morgan. “We call on employers to make the investment in good health and safety and better manage workplace risks.”
In signing the pledge, the Welsh Assembly Government will:
- Agree to play its part in reducing the numbers of work-related deaths, injuries and ill-health in Great Britain;
- Call on employers to put health and safety at the heart of what they do and to take a common-sense approach to health and safety;
- Commit to debunking myths around health and safety that trivialize the impact of injuries, ill health and deaths on individuals and their families;
- Recognize the importance of health and safety in difficult economic times and the dangers of complacency; and
- Pledge to work with the Health and Safety Executive and its partners to be part of the solution.
"The fact that more than 1,600 people have suffered serious injuries in the workplace in the last year is shocking,” Morgan added. “Work-related accidents can be avoided and it is important that people are made to feel safe while going about their job.”
“Even in a challenging economic climate, the risks in the workplace are ever present as the latest statistics show,” said HSE board member Sandy Blair. “The challenge is to maintain the improvements that have been made as we move towards recovery and increased activity in some sectors.”
“In signing up to the pledge, the Welsh Assembly Government is agreeing to take a common sense and practical approach to health and safety, looking at what it can do internally as well as it acting as a call to other organizations and businesses in Wales to make the same commitment,” Blair said. "Better health and safety performance can not only save lives, but can bring about real business benefits."
This pledge is a way for organizations in Britain to show their support for HSE’s new strategy, which sees strong leadership and a practical approach to health and safety as a way to improve performance in this area and bring about real business benefits. For more information, visit http://www.hse.gov.uk/strategy/pledge.htm.