Fewer work-related deaths despite rise in major injuries

The
number of people killed in work-related accidents in the UK fell slightly this
year, although there were more major injuries than in 2001/02, according to
latest statistics from the Health and Safety Commission.

The
annual deaths and accidents figures show that 226 people were killed in
2002/03, 25 fewer than the year before.

There
were 28,426 major injuries, 415 more than in 2001/02, and 126,004 injuries
causing three or more days absence from work, 3,651 less than in 2001/02.

Agriculture,
construction, manufacturing and the services sectors all saw increases in the
rate of reported major injuries, but the extractive and utility supply sectors
fared better.

The
most common cause of major injury was still slips and trips, accounting for 37
per cent of the total.

Being
struck by a moving or falling object and falls from height accounted for 14 per
cent of the total, while being injured while handling, lifting or carrying
objects accounted for 12 per cent.

The
number of reported injuries causing more than three days absence to staff fell
by 2.8 per cent in 2002/03 to 126,004 incidents, compared with 129,655 in
2001/02.

The
most common causes of these types of injuries were handling, lifting and
carrying, accounting for 39 per cent of the total, and slipping and tripping
(24 per cent). Almost two-thirds occurred in the services sector.

HSC
chairman Bill Callaghan said the figures only served to illustrate the size of
the occupational health problems facing industry.

“Progress
on reducing injuries has broadly reached a plateau,” he said. “I am
disappointed that we still have not seen a step-change in health and safety
performance.”

www.hse.gov.uk/statistics

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