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Continued fall in workplace ill health and injury

02 November 2011

New figures show that an ongoing trend for falls in the number of people injured and made unwell at work has continued.

Judith Hackitt, HSE's Chair
Judith Hackitt, HSE's Chair

The statistics, published by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE), show that in Britain between April 2010 and March 2011:
· 24,726 major injuries were reported, such as amputations, fractures and burns, to employees - a rate of 99 injuries per 100,000 workers - compared with 26,268 in 2009/10.
· 90,653 other injuries serious enough to keep people off work for four or more days were reported - a rate of 363.1 injuries per 100,000 workers - 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. Of these, 500,000 were new illnesses occurring in-year.
· 171 workers fatally injured - up from 147 the previous year

The new data confirms that Britain continues to have the lowest rate of fatal occupational injuries in Europe as well as one of the lowest levels of work-related ill health.

Judith Hackitt, HSE's Chair (pictured), said: "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. 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 agricultural (221.9 major injuries per 100,000 employees) industries continue to report the highest levels of work-related injuries, with disproportionately high numbers of incidents.

The toll of injury and ill-health resulted in 26.4 million working days being lost, an average of 15 days per case - 22.1 million to ill-health and 4.4 million to injury.

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