FIRE chiefs have revealed there were 46 health and safety incidents at the service during the last quarter.

A report by Hereford and Worcester Fire and Rescue Service says levels of overall reporting of accidents remain high in the organisation but officers regard this as a positive sign of high staff awareness.

One of these accidents which happened during training resulted in 32 lost working days.

But assistant chief officer Keith Chance reassured the fire authority’s audit and standards committee yesterday (April 24) that the realism of training exercises better prepared firefighters for dealing with actual emergencies.

“We have a very positive health and safety culture within the service,” he said.

“Sometimes with health and safety issues it’s actually better to get more reports.

“There has been a general decrease in accidents injuries and damage reported in comparison with quarter three of the previous year.

“There was a total of 46 health and safety events.

“One relates to an injury sustained while putting the back ladder on the gantry of the appliance and that resulted in 24 working days lost.

“There were 32 working days lost after one person was injured while colliding with part of a watercourse in training.

“The balance here is about the realism in training. We expose our fire officers to real life situations.

“It is felt to ensure that they are safe during their operational activities we still have to carry on the real-life training scenarios.”

Mr Chance also explained there had been seven vehicle collisions involving fire engines in the last quarter.

He said that this was positive given that during the same period these vehicles did more than 318,000 miles.

“Three of those were responding to operational incidents, three were during routine training and one was actually a report of somebody reversing into one of our vehicles,” he said.