Firms are being urged to help prevent accidents at work this year by making employee safety their top priority.
The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) made the appeal as it revealed that 148 people were killed in workplace accidents in the UK last year.
According to the latest figures, the number of workplace deaths has fallen over the last 12 months – but workers in some industries remain at significantly higher risk.
There were 39 deaths recorded among construction workers, with 29 in agriculture, 20 in manufacturing and 10 in waste and recycling. This represents more than two thirds of total workplace deaths during 2012-13.
The HSE said five in every million workers were killed while at work between April 2012 and March 2013.
London sees increase
Overall, more than 20,600 workers suffered a major injury in 2012/13, representing a fall of almost 11% from the previous year.
The HSE warned that the number of workplace deaths increased in London, with 13 people losing their lives compared with eight in the previous 12 months.
Another 2,141 people suffered a major work injury in the capital in 2012/3.
Richard Boland, HSE head of operations for London, said: “Whilst the number of workplace deaths has decreased nationally, they have increased across the capital, and it serves as a stark reminder of why we need good health and safety in workplaces.
“I therefore urge employers to spend their time tackling the real dangers that workers face, and to stop worrying about trivial matters or pointless paperwork. It’s important to remember that while we still have one of the lowest rates of workplace deaths in Europe, one death is still one too many.
“I would urge businesses to focus on helping to cut the number of deaths in 2014.”
If you’ve been injured in an accident at work, contact Accident Advice Helpline for specialist legal advice on their freephone number – 0800 689 0500.
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