I read with interest the news that the Health and Safety Executive is to target injuries caused by manual handling with a view to “promoting the use of mechanical handling equipment”.

I work with a large number of construction companies, mainly employing 50-200 staff, and am pretty certain of the response if an inspector suggested that any of them should purchase costly equipment when margins are being squeezed and the level of work is not as certain as it was two or three years ago.

I am in total agreement that something has to be done about such injuries but trying to get companies to invest thousands of pounds in equipment is, unfortunately, wishful thinking.

If only employers would carry out basic risk assessment and ensure that everyone involved had a few hours’ training, this would reduce the incidence of problems at a stroke.

Which is better: £200 on training or staff taking days off, an HSE prohibition notice, a prosecution and a writ for compensation?

No-brainer really, isn’t it?

Maureen Knight, sales director, Helmsman Safety Services