Accidents rates soar among Barnsley council staff but fewer need hospital or GP visits

Working days lost as a result of accidents involving Barnsley Council staff over six months almost matched the total for the previous year, statistics compiled by the authority have revealed.

Tuesday, 26th March 2019, 3:48 pm

Figures show for the half year from April to September last year, staff were away from work for 516 days following accidents, compared to 564 days lost in the full 12 months covering the 2017/18 financial year.

The longest single absence was 146 days, which resulted from a worker sustaining an ankle injury, but the bulk of the losses over the more recent six months were all from one service, where staff were absent for 282 days as a result of accidents.

That total resulted from eight incidents, with workers away from work for periods between seven days and 98 days, due to a combination of what the council describes as “slips, trips, manual handling and road traffic collision”.

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The council service which accounted for those incidents has not been identified, however, 59 working days were lost among staff working at one of Barnsley’s schools.

Incidents involving violence and aggression have increased slightly, with 89 recorded between April and September, compared to 158 for the full 12 months earlier.

However, the number of working days lost through those incidents fell dramatically, down to two from 57 for the preceding 12 months.

Although the working time lost through injury overall has increased, those needing to attend hospital or a GP have reduced markedly, with 11 over six months, compared to 31 over the previous 12 months.

Council statistics show that where accidents occurred, in 64 per cent of cases a risk assessment had been carried out for the task being performed, prior to the incident.

Reporting of ‘near misses’ has also been “far lower than reasonably expected”, according to a council report.

That has resulted in a simplified reporting system being adopted at the Smithies depot, resulting in increased reporting.