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The Health and Safety Executive has urged construction firms to ensure that employees use the correct forms of personal protection equipment when working.

David Ashton, the government body's north-west regional director, stated that in order to cut the costs of accidents and absences, businesses should take major steps to prevent incidents.

He also advised that firms use the correct fall arrest equipment when working from height, securing ladders when using them and also keeping vehicles and pedestrians apart wherever practical.

We want to concentrate on managing risks that cause real harm, not bureaucratic back-covering,' he explained.

'HSE works with a number of partners to provide free advice and education to those both carrying out and managing work and we need businesses and self employed people to work with us to help arrest this increase and make the north-west a safer place to work.'

The HSE has estimated that the costs of accidents and ill-health in the Greater Manchester area currently stand at £527 million.

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