Workplace deaths increase amid concerns over “belt-tightening”

Key Facts from the year up to March 2011

  • There were 171 fatal workplace injuries, an increase of 24 from the previous 12 months.
  • There were 200,000 reportable workplace injuries (over 3 day absence).
  • 115,000 serious injuries were reported.
  • 1.2 million working people suffered from a work-related illness.
  • 26.4 million working days were lost due to work-related illness and workplace injury.

The Health and Safety Executive compiles these figures each year and has identified that the construction and agricultural industries continue to report the highest levels of work-related injuries.

Although Britain continues to have the lowest rate of workplace deaths compared to the rest of Europe, the figures show that we must never let up in our commitment to addressing the serious risks that continue to cause deaths and injuries in the workplace.

Experts have been saying for some time that the effects of companies cutting back on training and maintenance in times of recession will have negative effects on safety in the workplace, and the Institution of Occupational Safety and Health (IOSH) have warned that on-going “belt-tightening” could be causing the rise in deaths at work.

Whatever the situation where you work, keeping people safe must be a top priority for all employers. The cost of a fatal accident in financial, moral and commercial terms is one that nobody wants – ask anyone who works for a company that has had a fatal accident.

Good, practical safety is not difficult. Good practical safety is cost-effective. Good practical safety keeps people alive.

If health and safety is not a priority in your company, don’t you think it should be?