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Fewer fatal injuries at work says HSE

30 June 2008

Every week 4 people die at work in Great Britain. 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 77 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."

Headline statistics
Agriculture, forestry and fishing 39 (2007/8); 36 (2006/7)
Construction 72 (2007/8); 79 (2006/7)
Manufacturing 34 (2007/8); 35 (2006/7)
Services 74 (2007/8); 86 (2006/7)

1. Complete injury and ill-health statistics will be available this autumn.

2. The reporting of health and safety incidents at work is a statutory requirement, set out under the Reporting of Injuries, Diseases and 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 four 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).

3. The latest Eurostat comparison amongst major industrial nations in Europe (in 2005) indicate that Great Britain record on work-related fatalities is once again the best having dropped to number three in 2004.

4. More information about HSE can be found at:

5. HSE publishes a full range of workplace health and safety statistics, these can be viewed at:

6. Figures do not include incidences of road traffic accidents related to work which resulted in deaths or deaths from industrial diseases.

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