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Latest UK injury statistics

Provisional statistics just published by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) show that between April 2011 and March 2012, 173 workers were fatally injured – down from 175 the previous year. There were also 22,433 major injuries - such as amputations, fractures and burns, to employees were reported - compared with 24,944 in 2010/11.

88,731 other injuries serious enough to keep people off work for four or more days were reported and were also down and an estimated 1.1 million people said they were suffering from an illness caused or made worse by their work, down from 1.2 million in 2010/11.

There has also been little change in the industries in which workers are most likely to be injured or made unwell by their jobs – with construction (171.8 major injuries per 100,000 employees), agriculture (241.0 major injuries per 100,000 employees) and waste and recycling (397.6 major injuries per 100,000 employees) among the higher risk sectors.

The construction industry sector recorded 2230 major injuries in 2011/12 down from 2307 in 2010/11 and 5391 over-3-day injuries, up from 4813 in 2010/11. All non fatal injuries saw a seven percent increase from 7120 in 2010/11 to 7621 for 2011/12.

Philip White, HSE chief inspector of construction said: “Year after year, construction continues to be one of the most dangerous sectors in British industry. Though the numbers are down in the long term, thousands of workers are being seriously injured or made unwell by their work. We all need to refocus our efforts and take on the responsibility to ensure the serious risks that continue to cause death and serious injury, are sensibly managed. Many of these incidents are entirely preventable.”

“The Olympics showed us that construction can be an example to all other industries when it is properly focused on managing risk and simple steps are put in place to ensure workers’ health and safety.”

Chair of HSE, Judith Hackitt said: “Any reduction in the number of people being injured or made unwell by their jobs should be welcomed. Given the challenging economic conditions which many sectors have faced in recent years it is particularly encouraging to see continued reductions in levels of injury and ill health.”

“Britain has earned the reputation of being one of the safest places in Europe to work, but there is still plenty of room for improvement. We need to ensure that we all focus on managing the real risks which lead to serious workplace harm.”

“HSE remains committed to helping employers understand what they need to do to ensure workers can go home from their jobs safe and well without creating unnecessary paperwork and bureaucracy.”

The toll of injury and ill-health resulted in 27 million working days being lost - up slightly on 2010/11. Workplace injuries and ill-health (excluding work related cancer) cost society an estimated £13.4 billion in 2010/11