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News

HSE and Kent's Local Authorities join forces for transport safety blitz

HSE InfoLine : 28 September, 2004  (Company News)
Bill Callaghan, Chair of the Health and Safety Commission announced today a partnership initiative between the Health and Safety Executive and Local Authorities in Kent to run the country's largest ever workplace transport safety campaign.
Bill Callaghan, Chair of the Health and Safety Commission announced today a partnership initiative between the Health and Safety Executive and Local Authorities in Kent to run the country's largest ever workplace transport safety campaign.

The campaign will target transport safety throughout the food supply chain in Kent from producer and importer through to consumer. Workplace transport incidents are the biggest cause of deaths in agriculture and food industries. Between 1992 and 2002, 44 farmers and 30 employees were killed in transport related incidents across the country.

Around 70 HSE inspectors and local authority officers will carry out spot check inspections to hundreds of sites throughout Kent over the next two weeks. The spot checks will cover a wide range of business enterprises, including farms, packaging companies, warehouses and retail sites. Enforcement action will be taken where duty holders are putting people at significant risk. Kent Police will also stop goods vehicles at roadside safety checks around the county. If the campaign proves successful, HSE plans to extend the initiative to other regions.

Transport accidents cause 21% of fatal injuries to employees. Over the past two years there have been 98 fatalities. In 2002/3 there were 1,600 major injuries to employees and the self-employed, plus over 3,300 injuries serious enough to keep people off work for more than three days. These accidents cost the country over 540 million, and considerable pain and grief for those involved.

Speaking at the campaign's launch at the Museum of Kent Life in Cobtree, Maidstone, Bill Callaghan said:

'Kent has long celebrated its reputation as the Garden of England, and due to the huge amount of food that is either produced in the county or arrives at its ports, food transport is an important business which can generate a significant risk. The campaign message is simple: safe site, safe driver, safe vehicle.

'This is the first time that HSE and Local Authorities have collectively used resources on such a major initiative. By sharing expertise and information and working together to tackle every activity in the transport chain in a jointly managed project, we hope to make a real difference to transport safety in Kent.'
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