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The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) has issued a message for businesses to take care of employees in the New Year.

According to the organisation, a number of work-related incidents took place across the UK last year, with an average of 368 problems occurring every week in the north-west of England alone.

Companies have been urged to bear a number of issues in mind over 2009, including using personal protective equipment when staff are working at height and securing ladders properly.

David Sowerby, the HSE's north-west regional operations manager, said: 'Behind these statistics are cases of real suffering and, for some, hardship through loss of income.

'We are asking that businesses take practical action to manage the risks people face in their day-to-day work.'

The HSE recently revealed it was disappointed with the outcome of its spot-checks on refurbishment sites in north Cheshire.

Five of the areas viewing on the day on inspections were given notices to stop work immediately.

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