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HSE offers free training to cut accidents at work

Accidents at work can lead to injury and death, and, in addition, it can be costly to companies when employees look to claim for compensation. 

In a bid to counteract this, the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) is teaming up with businesses in Exeter to offer staff free health and safety training. 

The Exeter Express and Echo reported on the scheme which is aimed specially at small companies in the area, who otherwise may not feel they have the budget to invest in training for staff. 

Keith Owen, lead councillor for Environment, Health and Wellbeing, suggested that the scheme, which is being offered to approximately 700 small businesses in the area, could make a real difference. 

"These are financially challenging times and we appreciate that, health and safety may not always be at the top of the to-do list for small businesses. However, by going direct to the businesses and offering free training and advice, we are sure we can help," he said. 

Cllr Owen emphasised that the scheme is not compulsory but "has the potential to bring significant benefits for both the companies and their staff". 

Some 255 accidents at work occurred in the borough of Exeter in 2012, so it is clear that some action needs to be taken to help reduce those numbers. 

This amount of injuries seems particularly high when you consider that the number of injuries amongst specialist contractors throughout the country in 2012-13 was just 150.1. 

Statistics released as part of the National Specialist Contractors' Council's Accidents survey showed that this is the lowest figure since records began some ten years ago. 

It also represents a significant fall from a year before when there were 204 injuries at work reported. 

The survey did not reveal the reason behind the fall in injuries and accidents at work, although it could be a fair assumption that better practices and more well-trained staff may have helped curb incidents.