IOSH has reacted with disappointment at the new statistics, which show the number of work-related deaths in Britain’s workplaces has remained largely unchanged.
HSE figures show 173 workers were killed from April 2011 to March 2012 – a reduction of just two from the previous year.
While any number of lives saves is positive, IOSH is concerned that the statistics don’t reflect the real picture, as they don’t take account of the thousands of people who die from occupational illness each year – making the true cost of work-related injury and ill health far greater.
The Institution is also concerned that the figures may indicate that employers could be cutting down on health and safety, in a belt-tightening exercise to weather the double-dip recession.
Director of policy Dr Vassie states “There is still much work to be done in getting the message through to employers that good health and safety makes good business sense – and bolsters a struggling economy – we think there’s much work to be done. It’s so important that worker protection is given its proper attention, especially during times of austerity when staffing levels can squeezed and workloads increased”.
“These figures show how vital it is that the message of good health and safety is no longer diluted or belittled”.
Statistics show that the rate of fatal injury remains the same at 0.6 per 100,000 workers across Britain. In England, there were 130 fatal injuries, while in Scotland there were 20 and in Wales, 18. However, the rate of deaths in Wales is 1.4 – almost three times that of England.
Across industry, the construction sector has the highest number of deaths, with 49 recorded.