Welcomed drop in fatal and major injuries in GB workplaces

The British Safety Council welcomed the improvements in Great Britain’s health and safety performance recently published by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) in its annual statistics report.

HSE noted a significant reduction in the number of workers killed and seriously injured at work. The number and incidence of fatal injuries in Great Britain fell significantly as did the number and incidence of major injuries.

Alex Botha, chief executive of the British Safety Council, while welcoming these improvements, 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. “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.

“We must not forget the tragic toll of work-related disease. HSE reports that around 13,000 deaths each year are attributable to work-related disease including occupational cancers – 40% in construction. The British Safety Council has 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. 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.”