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The health and safety record of companies in the UK is improving, new figures have suggested.

According to the Health and Safety Executive's (HSE's) statistics for 2007-08, the number of major injuries at work fell by nine per cent from the start of the decade.

Workplace fatalities also dropped by around five per cent, which suggests that many businesses are embracing regulations and also providing workers with adequate personal protective equipment.

Judith Hackitt, chair of the HSE, said any improvements to health and safety statistics 'must be welcomed'.

'In the difficult and uncertain months ahead I urge employers not to take their eyes off the ball. Good business management will be vital and good health and safety management is an integral part of that,' she added.

The HSE recently launched a campaign designed to increase awareness of the dangers of asbestos.

Under the Asbestos: The Hidden Killer initiative, the organisation will talk directly to companies about the material and issues surrounding it.

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