133 staff in fatal injuries at work

A total of 133 workers tragically suffered a fatal injury at work in the 2013-14 period, according to the Health and Safety Executive (HSE).

The number of deaths was down by 17 on the figure for the previous 12 months and Judith Hackitt, who chairs the HSE, has welcomed the reduction.

She said the statistics are still cause for “sadness” given the loss of many lives and the devastation caused for families, friends and work colleagues.

Fall in injuries at work

Ms Hackitt said the HSE is making good progress in making workplaces safer and cutting the number of deaths.

Overall, the rate of fatal injury fell to 0.44 per 100,000 employees – a drop of 0.07 on the figure for 2012/13.

But the statistics show that there has been a worrying increase in deaths from mesothelioma, a type of cancer which is linked to asbestos exposure.

A total of 2,535 people died from the disease in 2012, an increase of 244 on the previous 12 months, which Mrs Hackitt said was due to substandard health and safety procedures in previous decades.

HSE doing an ‘excellent job’

Mike Penning, who holds the health and safety brief in the coalition Government, said that “any death at work is a death too many”, but welcomed the fact that factories and offices across the country are getting safer.

He praised the work of Mrs Hackitt and her HSE colleagues, who he said were doing an “excellent job” in making workplaces safe.

A breakdown of the deaths showed 27 fatal injuries at work among agriculture workers; 42 among those employed in the building sector and four among people working in waste and recycling.

These totals are lower than the averages recorded over the past few years.

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