Health and Safety Executive (UK)

Small reduction in fatal injuries at work no reason for complacency, says HSE


Source: Health and Safety Executive (UK)

Provisional figures of work-related fatal injuries in Great Britain issued by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) reveal that 228 workers lost their lives as a result of accidents/incidents at work in 2007/08 compared to 247 workers in 2006/07. The report also shows a slight increase in the number of workers killed in the agriculture (from 36 in 2006/07 to 39 in 2007/08) and a slight decrease in the construction sector (from 79 in 2006/07 to 72 in 2007/08).

Responding to the released figures HSE Chair Judith Hackitt said,

'Whilst we welcome the headline decrease in overall numbers of fatalities, there is absolutely no room for complacency as the report suggests a plateau in the overall five year trend. Great Britain’s position amongst major European Union countries is in relative terms a creditable one, but none can find it acceptable that 228 people died directly as a cause of their work. After many years of improvement, it is disappointing that we are on a performance plateau. This stresses the need for everyone, employers and employees alike to make a further effort to reduce this total of human misery.

'Evidence shows that where employers and employees work closely together to agree the agenda and set targets to tackle real issues, they have made significant improvements. We want this to continue and we also want to see employers taking more ownership and leadership to embed health and safety in their organisational culture and boardrooms.

'The high levels of fatalities in the agriculture and construction sectors continue to be of particular concern to us and will be a major focus of HSE’s work priorities over the coming year.'

Industry sectors Workers (2007/08) Workers (2006/07)
Agriculture, forestry and fishing  39 36
Construction 72 79
Manufacturing  34 35
Services 74 86

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