Industry News

Improved health brings a drop in firefighters' accidents and sickness

reduction in accidents and sickness among firefighters
Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue
Service is now saving almost
£250,000 in lost shifts 

Improvements on health and fitness reduces accidents and sickness across the Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue Service.

Firefighters in Greater Manchester are fitter and healthier thanks to a huge focus on reducing accidents and sickness across the Service. And thanks to the improvements Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue Service is now saving almost £250,000 in lost shifts alone.

In addition, the Service revealed dramatic reductions in a number of health and safety indicators including almost halving accidents in recent years, and an 80 percent reduction in series injuries to operational staff.

Chairman of the Authority Councillor Paul Shannon explained: "It's paramount we have staffs that are healthy and aware of the risk of injury and sickness as part of their roles.  This is great news - a real step forward in terms of keeping people fit and healthy and doing their jobs for the people of Greater Manchester."

The Service's Health and Safety Report 2009/2010 was considered by members of Greater Manchester Fire Authority, who heard about a number of impressive reductions including:

  • Accidents decreased by 48 percent in the past six years
  • Accidents 72 lower than 12 years ago
  • Serious injuries dropped from 123 in 1997/98 to 24 - a reduction of 80 percent
  • Shifts lost - decrease of 69 since previous year
  • Days lost - decrease of 88 percent in 12 years

County Fire Officer and Chief Executive Steve McGuirk added: "Health and Safety is tremendously important to the Service which in turn benefits from a fitter, healthier workforce as a result.  Ultimately we need our firefighters ready for action and this kind of improvement reduces sickness and injury - it's a great reflection of how far we've come."

One example of how we have achieved these results is staffs being positively encouraged to report all accidents and near miss incidents, which are fully investigated, so all in the organisation can learn from the event.

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