01 November 2012
Workplace injuries declined last year, data shows
The number of serious accidents at work taking place across the UK declined last year, new figures have shown.
Official data collated by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) has revealed that major injuries such as fractures, amputations and burns caused by incidents in the workplace totalled 22,433 between April 2011 and March 2012.
This represents a fall on the level of 24,944 recorded one year previously and is also significantly below the average for the last five years of 27,170.
The number of injuries sustained that were serious enough to keep a professional off work for at least four days dropped to 88,731 from 91,742 - a figure that is also markedly lower than the five-year average of 103,627.
Furthermore, it seems that companies' efforts to improve health and safety standards are beginning to bear fruit as the number of people fatally injured declined by two to 173 in 2011-12.
Meanwhile, fewer professionals indicated they were suffering from an illness that was made worse by their work, with 1.1 million Britons saying this was the case for them last year compared to 1.2 million 12 months earlier.
Judith Hackett, chair of the HSE, explained that such statistics represent a step in the right direction, as any reduction in the number of people being injured, killed or made unwell by their line of work 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," she noted.
However, Ms Hackett went on to say that while the UK has earned a reputation as being one of the safest places to work in Europe, 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," the official added.
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Posted by Francesca Witney