Number of workplace deaths and injuries down in 2013

Published:  04 November, 2013

Figures published by the Health and Safety Executive show an 11% drop in major injuries compared to 2011/12.

The provisional statistics published by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) show that in Britain between April 2012 and March 2013:

Chair of HSE, Judith Hackitt said: “This year’s figures demonstrate that Britain continues to be improve its health and safety performance, with important falls in the number of workers fatally injured and the number of employees suffering major injuries. But we still see too many deaths and injuries occur in the work place - many of which could have been prevented through simple safety measures. Getting this right is the key to ensuring that everyone can make it home safely at the end of their working day.”

The report also indicated that there was little change in the industries in which workers are most likely to be injured by their jobs – with construction (156.0 major injuries per 100 000 employees) agriculture (239.4 major injuries per 100 000 employees) and waste and recycling (369.8 major injuries per 100 000 employees) among the higher risk sectors.

“We’re committed to helping employers understand that health and safety is about sensibly and proportionately managing risks and ensuring people understand the risks involved not creating unnecessary paperwork,” added Hackitt.

The British Safety Council welcomed the improvements in health and safety performance, but noted that much more needed to be done in order to achieve the British Safety Council’s vision that no one should be injured or made ill in Britain’s workplaces.

“While the number of people killed and seriously injured in Britain’s workplaces continues to fall year-on-year, we echo the comments of HSE’s chair, Judith Hackitt, that many of these deaths and serious injuries could have been prevented by simple safety measures,” said Alex Botha, chief executive of the British Safety Council.

“While the number of deaths in British workplaces has halved over the last 20 years – 148 workers killed in 2012/13 compared to nearly 300 in 1993/94 – it remains a major concern that the agriculture, construction and waste re-cycling sectors together account for almost half of these unnecessary deaths.

The British Safety Council has also joined many of its member organisations operating in construction and pledged its support for the Public Health Responsibility Deal for the construction and civil engineering sectors to help address the blight of ill health at work and work-related disease.

“The British Safety Council and its member organisations firmly believe that our regulatory framework governing workplace health and safety is effective in helping to control the risk of injury and ill health in the workplace. But we all have a role to play in ensuring risks are properly controlled to prevent harm in the workplace,” said Botha. “Workplace injury and work-related ill-health have a damaging impact on individuals, business, government and wider society. By working together we can prevent unnecessary harm to thousands of people and help cut the cost to society – an estimated £13.8 billion a year."