Slight decrease recorded in rates of injuries and illness…
New figures just published by the Health and Safety Executive reveal a slight decrease in the levels of workplace accidents and injuries.
The statistics produced by the HSE refer to incidents in the workplace that occurred in the UK between April 2011 and March 2012. The findings include the following:
- 22,433 serious injuries which equates to a rate of just under 90 injuries for every 100,000 workers which compares favourably with last year’s total of 24,944.
- Other injuries that were not as severe but still caused employees to take at least four days off totalled 88,731, again a decrease on last year’s figure.
- 1.1 million people reported an illness that was either caused or worsened by their working environment, down from 1.2 million in 2010/11.
- The number of fatalities was 173 compared with 175 last year.
Judith Hackitt, Chair of the HSE said that although the reductions in injuries were to be welcomed, there was still plenty of work to be done to improve safety records still further:
“Any reduction in the number of people being injured or made unwell by their jobs should be welcomed. Given the challenging economic conditions which many sectors have faced in recent years it is particularly encouraging to see continued reductions in levels of injury and ill health.
“Britain has earned the reputation of being one of the safest places in Europe to work, but there is still plenty of room for improvement. We need to ensure that we all focus on managing the real risks which lead to serious workplace harm.
“HSE remains committed to helping employers understand what they need to do to ensure workers can go home from their jobs safe and well without creating unnecessary paperwork and bureaucracy.”
The occupations associated with the highest risk in terms of workplace accidents remain the construction sector, agriculture and waste and recycling.
It is estimated that 27 million working days were lost due to workplace injury or ill-health which works out at an average of 16.8 days per case and is a slight increase on the estimated 26.4 million working days lost last year.
The bill placed on the British economy as a result of workplace accidents and ill-health is thought to be in the region of £13.4 billion.
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