The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) has published provisional fatal injury statistics for the year April 2010 to March 2011. These show that the number of workers killed in Britain was 171, compared with an all time low of 147 deaths in the previous year. In 2008/09, 178 workers were killed and in 2007/08, 233 workers died. The rate of fatal injury is now 0.6 per 100,000 workers, up from 0.5 per 100,000 workers the previous year.
The figures show the rate of fatal injuries in several of the key industrial sectors:
- 50 fatal injuries to construction workers were recorded – a rate of 2.4 deaths per 100,000 workers, compared with an average of 61 deaths in the past five years and an increase from the 41 deaths (and rate of 1.9 per 100,000 workers) recorded in 2009/10;
- 34 fatal injuries to agricultural workers were recorded – a rate of 8.0 deaths per 100,000 workers, compared with an average of 35 deaths in the past five years and a fall from the 39 deaths (and rate of 10.4 per 100,000 workers) recorded in 2009/10; and
- Nine fatal injuries to waste and recycling workers were recorded – a rate of 8.7 deaths per 100,000 workers, compared with an average of eight deaths in the past five years and an increase from the three deaths (and rate of 2.8 per 100,000 workers) recorded in 2009/10.
Judith Hackitt, the HSE Chair, said, “The increase in the number of deaths in the last year is disappointing, after an all time low last year. However, we must remember that we still have one of the lowest rates of fatal injury anywhere in Europe.
“The fact that 171 people failed to come home from work to their loved ones last year reminds us all of what we are here to do. It is a stark reminder of the need to ensure that health and safety remains focused on the real risks, which exist in workplaces not on trivia and pointless paperwork.
“We all have a role to play – employers, employees and regulators – and leadership is fundamental to maintaining and improving our performance even further. In a world of work which is constantly changing we must all continue to review what we do and how we do it and strive to become even more effective at managing risks which cost lives.”
The 2010/11 figures are provisional. Final statistics will be produced in June 2012, following further investigation.
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