Reportable accident rates drop among electrical contractors

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Electrical contracting businesses, employing over 13,000 operatives, show a further reduction in accident rates for 2018, according to the latest accident statistics

The figures, collected by the Joint Industry Board on behalf of electrotechnical trade body ECA and Unite the Union, reveal that the rate of RIDDOR-reportable accidents for electrical contractors fell once again, to 164/100,000.

Interestingly, no fatalities were reported during 2018 and the rate of specified (major) accidents was also lower than in 2017 at just over 52/100,000. The main causes of injury to electrical contractors were falls, slips and trips and there was one reportable injury due to electric shock.

Steve Brawley, chief executive of the JIB, said: “It’s very encouraging to report that the rate of reportable accidents in our industry continues to fall, and it means that the rate of these accidents is now, remarkably, only slightly more than 10% of what it was in 2001, the year we started to collect data for the industry’s highly successful ‘ZAP safety initiative.”

Paul Reeve, ECA director of CSR, commented: “Since the turn of the millennium, there has been near-continuous improvement in the accident rate reported by participating companies. The 2018 figures mean that the accident rate has fallen nearly 90% since 2001, which is a great achievement.

“In fact, the number of RIDDOR-reportables – in a sample of over 13,500 operatives – is now so low that in 2019 we will be asking companies for additional details of any ‘over one day accidents’. While these accidents are not RIDDOR-reportable, this will give us more data to work with in future.”

Rob Miguel, Unite national health and safety advisor, added: “While these new figures are very welcome and show huge improvements in safety in the electrical contracting industry over the last two decades, JIB is also working to improve occupational health.

“The JIB occupational health scheme provides operatives employed by a JIB member company with the opportunity to receive a fully-funded occupational health assessment every three years. This facility, funded through the JIB Benefits Scheme, will deliver various benefits including improved compliance with health and safety law, meeting client and main contractor requirements and helping people to identify and remedy health issues at an earlier stage.”

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