Up to 36 million working days were lost in 2006 due to work-related ill health and injury, new figures have revealed.
A report by the Health and Safety Commission (HSC) found that about 2.2 million people suffered from an illness caused or made worse by their current or past occupation in 2006-07.
The HSC’s report found that more than 140,000 reported workplace accidents occurred last year, resulting in employees suffering injuries such as amputations, chemical burns and fractures.
It also found that 241 people were killed at work, a rate of 0.8% of 100,000 people.
Geoffrey Podger, chief executive of the HSE, said: “The statistics indicate that last year alone in Great Britain, 2.2 million people suffered from work-related illnesses, and 241 people were killed at work. While workplace injuries have reduced, we lost 30 million working days due to ill health.
“Last year, the HSE issued 20% more notices, and industry was fined a total of over £13m for flaunting health and safety laws.”
Responding to the figures, HSC chair Judith Hackitt said: “Employers have a legal duty to protect their employees, and visible leadership from the top of the organisation can truly influence the health and safety culture in our changing work environments.
“To make workplaces in 21st-century Britain healthier and safer, we all need to work together to do better.”