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New figures published for fatally injured workers
New official statistics published yesterday show the number of workers fatally injured in Britain last year remains largely unchanged.
The Health & Safety Executive has released provisional data for April 2011 to March 2012, which shows 173 workers were killed - down two from the previous year.
The rate of fatal injury remains the same at 0.6 per 100,000 workers.
"Britain continues to have one of the lowest levels of workplace fatal injuries in Europe, part of a long term downward trend," says Judith Hackitt, the HSE Chair, about the report.
"But we must not forget that these are lives cut short, not statistics - every single one of these deaths will have caused terrible grief and anguish for family and friends as well as workmates and colleagues. This is the real tragedy of health and safety failures - lives cut short and loved ones lost.
"We want employers to focus on the real risks that continue to cause death and serious injury. HSE is working very hard to make it easier for people to understand what they need to do and to focus on the real priorities. Protecting people from death and serious injury at work should be at the heart of what we all do."
The figures also show the rate of fatal injuries in several of the key industrial sectors:
* 49 fatal injuries to construction workers were recorded - a rate of 2.3 deaths per 100,000 workers, compared to an average of 59 deaths in the past five years and a decrease from the 50 deaths (and rate of 2.3) recorded in 2010/11
* 33 fatal injuries to agriculture workers were recorded - a rate of 9.7 deaths per 100,000 workers, compared to an average of 35 deaths in the past five years and an increase from the 30 deaths (and rate of 8.7) recorded in 2010/11
* Five fatal injuries to waste and recycling workers were recorded - a rate of 4.1 deaths per 100,000 workers, compared to an average of six deaths in the past five years and a decrease from the nine deaths (and rate of 8.4) recorded in 2010/11
* 130 fatal injuries in England were recorded - a rate of 0.5 deaths per 100,000 workers, compared to an average of 157 deaths in the past five years and a decrease from the 146 deaths (and rate of 0.6) recorded in 2010/11
* 20 fatal injuries in Scotland were recorded - a rate of 0.8 deaths per 100,000 workers, compared to an average of 25 deaths in the past five years and an increase from the 14 deaths (and rate of 0.5) recorded in 2010/11
* 18 fatal injuries in Wales were recorded - a rate of 1.4 deaths per 100,000 workers, compared to an average of 11 deaths in the past five years and an increase from the 11 deaths (and rate of 0.8) recorded in 2010/11
When making regional comparisons, it should be noted that differences are strongly influenced by variations in the mix of industries and occupations. The number of fatalities in some regions is relatively small, hence susceptible to considerable variation.
For example in 2011/12, two incidents in Wales resulted in eight fatalities (four per incident), which represents a substantial part of the total for that region.
In 2011/12 there were five fatal injuries to workers where the country/region was not known. The average number for the period 2006/07 - 2010/11 is three, and the finalised figure of 2010/11 is four. In general, these incidents relate to deaths occurring offshore or on railways, where a region cannot be reliably assigned.
The average rate of fatal injury over the last five years has been 0.7 per 100, 000 workers. In each of the last five years, the number of fatal injuries has been:
2010/11 - 175 workers died: finalised figures (previous figure was 171)
2009/10 - 147 workers died
2008/09 - 179 workers died
2007/08 - 233 workers died
2006/07 - 247 workers died
Based on available data (2008), Britain continues to have the lowest rate of fatal injuries to workers among the five leading industrial nations in Europe - Germany, France, Spain and Italy.
The reporting of health & safety incidents at work is a statutory requirement, set out under the Reporting of Injuries, Diseases & Dangerous Occurrences Regulations 1995 (RIDDOR). A reportable incident includes: a death or major injury; any accident which does not result in major injury, but the injured person still has to take seven or more days off their normal work to recover; a work related disease; a member of the public being injured as a result of work related activity and taken to hospital for treatment; or a dangerous occurrence, which does not result in a serious injury, but could have done.
The figures for 2011/12 are provisional. They will be finalised in July 2013 following any necessary adjustments arising from investigations, in which new facts can emerge about whether the accident was work-related. The delay of a year in finalising the figures allows for such matters to be fully resolved in the light of formal interviews with all relevant witnesses, forensic investigation and coroners' rulings.
Further information on workplace statistics can be found at:
12th July 2012