Injuries at work fall to record low, new HSE data has found

Workplace injuries fell to a record low in the year to April,
provisional statistics from the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) have shown.

There was an 11% drop in major injuries between April 2012 and March 2013, compared with the same period in 2011/12, it said in October 2013.

There were 19,707 major injuries – such as amputations, fractures and burns – to employees reported, or a rate of 78.5 injuries per 100,000 employees. This compared with 22,094 in 2011/12 – a rate of 88.5 per 100,000 employees.

A total of 148 workers were fatally injured, down from 171 the previous year, and compared with an average of 181 worker deaths per year for the past five years.

Workplace injuries and ill health (excluding work-related cancer) cost society an estimated £13.8 billion in 2010/11, compared with £16.3 billion in 2006/07, both calculated at 2011 prices, it added.

But there was little change in those industries considered accident and fatality “black spots”.

The main offenders were construction (with 156 major injuries per 100,000 employees), followed by agriculture (239.4 major injuries) and waste and recycling (369.8 major injuries).

HSE chair Judith Hackitt said: “This year’s figures demonstrate that Britain continues to improve its health and safety performance.

“But we still see too many deaths and injuries occurring in the workplace, many of which could have been prevented through simple safety measures.”

Hackitt also warned that as the economy recovered and started to grow, the addition of new and inexperienced additions to the workforce could increase the risk of injuries to workers.

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