Several of the types of accidents seen in the recently published HSE fatality statistics for 2016-17 are of kinds that could be associated with the risks of hazardous areas where the correct equipment is not used.
Of 137 total fatalities over the 12-month period, three were due to asphyxiation or drowning; three were due to contact with a harmful substance; two were due to fire; three were caused by explosions; and eight involved contact with electricity.
In all, 19 deaths could be associated with harmful substances, electrical discharge, fire, explosion or asphyxiation – the kinds of health risks encountered on a daily basis in poorly managed hazardous areas.
While not all of the reported fatalities will have occurred in designated hazardous areas, the use of hazardous area equipment may still have prevented some of them, while the remaining 86% of incidents includes general accidents like slips, trips and falls from height that could also occur in Zones 0, 1 and 2.
Martin Temple, chair of the HSE, said: “We concentrate our interventions where we know we can have the biggest impact. We hold dutyholders accountable for managing the risks they create in the workplace.”
By investing in appropriate hazardous area equipment, particularly in Zones 2, 1 and the highest-risk Zone 0 designation, you can not only protect your employees, but also show to inspectors that you are taking all appropriate precautions to safeguard your workforce.