Workplace death toll nudges 230 for year to April 2008

More than 200 people were killed at work in the 12 months to April 2008, the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) has said.

Its annual statistics, which update provisional figures published in the summer, showed that 229 people died during that period, while 299,000 other reportable injuries occurred.

Some 2.1 million people suffered from an illness they believed to be caused or made worse by work.

The figures are evidence of a continuing decline in the number of fatalities and injuries in the workplace, with reported major injuries down 9% since the start of the decade and deaths down by 5%.

But HSE chair Judith Hackitt said the fact the trend was downwards was no cause for complacency.

“Any improvement in the number of people being injured or made ill by work must be welcomed. However, there is a need for a step change,” she warned. “Of particular concern are the agriculture, construction and waste and recycling industries. I am also concerned that slips and trips – which can have an enormous impact on people’s lives – are still not reducing.”

More than 136,000 workers suffered injuries such as amputations, burns or fractures, and 34 million working days were lost because of injury and ill health.

Hackitt echoed calls for employers not to “take their eyes off the ball” when it came to health and safety just because there was an economic downturn.

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