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Accidents and work-related illness goes down

04 November 2008

Workplace deaths fell by around 5% to 229. Across the EU, Great Britain has one of the lowest rates of work-related fatalities and injuries.

New statistics published by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) today reveal a reduction in the numbers of people killed, injured or made ill by work during 2007/08. The statistics can be found at

Reported major injuries at work fell by around 9% since the start of the decade and this trend continues. Work-related ill-health has also fallen across the period, although the rate of improvement here is not as great as hoped. Workplace deaths also fell by around 5% to 229. Across the EU, Great Britain (GB) has one of the lowest rates of work-related fatalities and injuries.

Judith Hackitt, Chair of the HSE said: "Any improvement in the number of people being injured or made ill by work must be welcomed. However, there is a need for a step change. Of particular concern are the agriculture, construction and waste and recycling industries. I am also concerned that slips and trips - which can have an enormous impact on peoples' lives - are still not reducing. HSE is developing a new strategy that seeks to renew commitment from all those involved in health and safety to tackle these challenges and more. "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. Health and safety contributes positively to competitiveness and should not be sacrificed in times of financial pressure."

The statistics for 2007/08 show:
Ill health
* 2.1 million people were suffering from work related illnesses Injuries
* Over 136,000 workers suffered injuries such as amputations, burns or fractures.

Working days lost
* 34 million working days were lost in GB due to injury and ill-health Fatalities
* 229 people were killed at work

* 1028 offences were prosecuted by HSE
* 354 offences were prosecuted by local authorities

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