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HR News Update – Fatal Injuries at work at all-time low

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The latest figures released by the HSE show that the number of workplace deaths in Britain last year has fallen to the lowest annual rate on record.

Provisional data released by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) reveals that 133 workers were fatally injured between April 2013 and March 2014, compared with 150 in the previous year. This means that the overall rate of fatal injury has dropped to 0.44 per 100,000 workers, compared to 0.51 in 2012/13.These latest results come as the HSE celebrates 40 years since the Health and Safety at Work Act received Royal Assent, which provided a regulatory framework for workplace health and safety in Great Britain. Since the Act's introduction, the total number of work-related injuries has fallen by 75 percent.

Commenting on the results, ELAS’ lead health and safety consultant, Wayne Dunningsays: “Since the Health and Safety at Work Act came into place in 1974, the UK’s performance in workplace health and safety has come a long way. The introduction of the act has been hugely influential in making Britain one of the safest places in the world to work and we’re confident that Britain’s workplaces will only become safer. “However, although the latest figures show that positive progress is being made even in the most hazardous industries, it is still clear that more needs to be done. The fact remains that many of these deaths may have been prevented had proper health and safety protocols been followed.

“Additionally, it is important to remember that it’s not only industries such as construction and agriculture that need to pay attention to their health and safety. The FOI carried out by ELAS earlier this year showed that environments such as schools are finding themselves vulnerable to claims following injury and this could be avoided by better management of health and safety.  “Any death in the workplace is one too many and it’s our hope that businesses in all industries will feel motivated by these results to audit their processes and  work to improve to their hand continue to ensure that they have the appropriate health and safety protocols and training in place.”

The new figures also show the rate of fatal injuries in several key industrial sectors: There were 27 fatal injuries to workers in agriculture, lower than the average of 33 for the previous five years. There were 42 fatal injuries to workers in construction, lower than the average figure of 46; 106 fatal injuries in England were recorded – a rate of 0.41 deaths per 100,000 workers; 20 fatal injuries in Scotland were recorded – a rate of 0.78 deaths per 100,000 workers; seven fatal injuries in Wales were recorded – a rate of 0.52 deaths per 100,000 workers. ELAS has consultants available that can advise businesses to make sure they remain compliant and meet health and safety regulations.

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