Number of worker deaths falls
New figures have shown a fall in the number of people being killed at work in Britain – the lowest number ever recorded.
The provisional data from the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) shows that there were 133 individuals fatally injured at work last year. Covering the period from April 2013 to March 2014, it compares to 50 deaths the year previous.
HSE chair Judith Hackitt explained that the progress made should encourage health and safety professionals. She continued to say that while the figures are only provisional, they confirm Britain as “world class” when it comes to health and safety.
Further, she said that the UK has, for the last eight years, recorded some of the lowest numbers of fatal workplace injuries when compared to the EU’s other industrialised nations.
By country, there were 106 fatal injuries in England, 20 in Scotland, and seven in Wales. The rate of deaths per 100,000 workers was 0.41 in England and 0.52 in Wales. Scotland had the highest death rate, at 0.78.
The HSE figures were also broken down by industry, with construction recording 42 fatal injuries in the period of the study. It also represents the highest fatal injury rate in the workplace, at 1.98.
This is lower than the average figure of 46 and five-year average fatality rate of 2.07, and shows the impact of better procedures, better personal protective equipment (PPE), and better understanding of risk.
The continuing increase in deaths from asbestos-related mesothelioma also highlighted the importance of the right workwear when operating in dangerous environments.