Number of fatalities at work falls to lowest ever figure

The number of people killed at work has dropped to its lowest level ever, statistics published yesterday show.

In 2005/2006 212 people were fatally injured, a reduction from 223 in 2004/2005. The rate is also the lowest on record, at a rate of 0.71 fatalities per 100,000 workers, according to Health and Safety Commission figures.

Bill Callaghan, chair of the HSC said: “The figures are very encouraging but more needs to be done. There are still too many people killed at work every year, and quite often simple, inexpensive measures could have prevented the tragic loss of life.”

The figures also contain a comparison across Europe, which shows the UK as having the lowest fatal injury rate in Europe.

Falls from height remain the most common cause of fatal injury, with 46 workers being killed following a fall compared to 53 workers killed in 2004/2005.

Two industries, construction and agriculture, account for just under half of all fatal injuries. However, both saw sizeable reductions in the number and rate of fatalities. In construction there was a 14% drop in the number of fatal injuries and in agriculture there was a reduction of 21% to the lowest rate since 1999/2000.

Transport and General Workers Union general secretary Tony Woodley said the reduction in fatalities was welcomed. “But these figures must be kept in perspective. Last year there were 212 people killed at work, and that is 212 workers too many,” he said.


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