Workplace death toll still too high warns HSE

More than 200 people were killed at work in the 12 months to April 2008, official figures revealed today.

The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) published its annual statistics showing that 229 people died while 299,000 other reportable injuries occurred. About 2.1 million people suffered from an illness they believed to be caused or made worse by work.

The number of workplace deaths has fallen by 5% since the start of the decade, while the amount of reported major injuries has fallen by around 9% in that time.

Judith Hackitt, chair of the HSE, said: “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.

“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 peoples’ lives – are still not reducing.”

Hackitt urged employers to maintain a focus on health and safety during the economic downturn.

“In the difficult and uncertain months ahead, I urge employers not to take their eyes off the ball. Health and safety contributes positively to competitiveness and should not be sacrificed in times of financial pressure,” she said.

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