I don’t suppose you need me to tell you what a dangerous industry you work in – deadly substances on tap and tills full of high turnover (shame about the profit). But you still might be stopped in your tracks by some shock-horror statistics from the Health & Safety Executive on motor vehicle repair.
This industry, which employed just over 170,000 people in 2001 has fatal and ‘all injuries’ accident rates higher than the average for the whole of manufacturing. Over five years from 1997 to 2002, nearly 8,000 injuries were reported. This included 31 fatal injuries to employees or self-employed persons and almost 2,500 other major/serious injuries. The actual figures for the latter, says the HSE, will be much higher than those quoted due to considerable under-reporting to the enforcing authorities.
The HSE has launched a website (www.hse.gov.uk/mvr) aimed at encouraging good practices in motor vehicle repair premises. Reading some of the case studies – people crushed by runaway cars, others burned to death by exploding fuel tanks – I find it hard to see how this website will help but I guess every little helps. So, hopefully just reading this piece may remind you to carry out a risk assessment of all your premises if you haven’t done so lately.