Work Fatalities Rose in Britain Last Year

The 2010-2011 statistics show 171 fatalities, up from 147 the previous year. Injuries declined year over year, however.

The Health and Safety Executive published injury and fatality statistics Nov. 2 for Britain industries from April 2010 to March 2011. Fatalities rose by 16 percent, from 147 a year earlier to 171, but injuries and illnesses dropped, according to the agency.

It reported:

  • 24,726 major injuries, such as amputations, fractures, and burns, which represents a rate of 99 injuries per 100,000 workers and compares with 26,268 major injuries in 2009/10.
  • 90,653 other injuries serious enough to keep people off work for four or more days, a rate of 363.1 injuries per 100,000 workers and down from 96,427 the previous year.
  • An estimated 1.2 million people said they were suffering from an illness caused or made worse by their work, down from 1.3 million in 2009/10.

HSE said the data confirm Britain continues to have the lowest rate of fatal occupational injuries in Europe and one of the lowest levels of work-related illness.

"The fall in the number of people being injured by work is of course to be welcomed but we did also see an increase in the number of fatalities during the year," said Judith Hackitt, chair of the agency. "Britain can be proud that it has one of the best health and safety records in Europe but as the increase in the number of fatalities makes clear we can never let up in our commitment to addressing the serious risks which continue to cause death and injury in workplaces. HSE will continue to work with employers, employees and other organisations to maintain and, where necessary improve, health and safety standards. We all have a responsibility to make sure serious workplace risks are sensibly managed."

The construction (173.2 major injuries per 100,000 employees) and agriculture (221.9 major injuries per 100,000 employees) continue to report the highest levels of work-related injuries. Injuries and illnesses resulted in 26.4 million lost work days during the year, an average of 15 days per case.

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