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The Health and Safety Executive Statistics 2009/10

Firstly can I first wish all a Happy New Year and best wishes for 2011! It has come to my attention that that those at the Health and Safety Executive who work tirelessly, in some cases successfully and in others not, to try and improve safety within the work place and for us all, have produced the statistics for the health of employees in the work place for the period 2009/10.

I appreciate that we are now in 2011 however it does of course take time to collate these statistics and they are worth comment nevertheless since I anticipate that they will differ little over the course of the next period of 2010/11.

It is with sadness that I note that 152 workers were killed at work and that over 120,000 other accidents at work which were reported to the Health and Safety Executive.The most depressing reading however is of the number of people who have died due to work related diseases which in turn have been caused by past working conditions. The report itself refers to thousands of people having died from work related diseases and approximately 8,000 cancer deaths in Britain each year are attributable to past exposure to occupational carcinogens of which half of these are asbestos related. 

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There are numerous carcinogens in the work place. We live in a world where we come into daily contact with chemicals in various forms. The majority are inert and do not cause any difficulties. However, if we are exposed to carcinogens, perhaps daily exposure to only small amounts of carcinogens, these will build up over time to create a fatal health hazard.

The latency period for the development of some forms of cancers can be 30-40 years. Establishing a link between the cancer and the exposure can therefore be difficult but not impossible. It is one of the sad legacies of industrial growth and ignorance which is still affecting so many people, even today.

Tristan Hallam is a partner in Personal Injury in the London office of Russell Jones & Walker. If you or a member of your family has suffered an accident or injury call our expert personal injury solicitors on 0800 916 9046 or contact us online and one of our specialist personal injury team will review your compensation claim for free.