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    WORKER FATAL INJURIES IN BRITAIN HIT ALL TIME LOW

    Construction deaths and rate rise but remain below 5 year average

    New figures released today indicate the number of workers who died in Britain last year has fallen to the lowest annual rate on record.

    Provisional data released by HSE reveals that 133 workers were fatally injured between April 2013 and March 2014, compared with 150 in the previous year.

    The overall rate of fatal injury has dropped to 0.44 per 100,000 workers, compared to 0.51 in 2012/13.

    Judith Hackitt, the HSE Chair, said:

    “The release of the annual statistics always leads to mixed emotions. Sadness for the loss of 133 lives, and sympathy for their families, friends and workmates, but also a sense of encouragement that we continue to make progress in reducing the toll of suffering.

    Whilst these are only provisional figures, they confirm Britain’s performance in health and safety as world-class. For the last eight years we have consistently recorded one of the lowest rates of fatal injuries to workers among the leading industrial nations in Europe.”

    Minister of State for Health and Safety, Mike Penning, said:

    “These statistics show that workplaces are getting safer. HSE do an excellent job in making sure each and every one of us can go out to do an honest day’s work in the knowledge that our safety is being taken seriously.”

    Construction statistic show small rise in number and rate

    The new figures for 2013/14 show there were 42 fatal injuries to workers in construction which is lower than the average of 46 for the previous five years.

    The latest rate of fatal injury to workers in construction is 1.98 per 100,000 workers, compared to a five-year average of 2.07.

    The construction sector data for 2012/13 showed 39 fatal injuries and a rate of 1.9 deaths per 100,000 construction workers.

    Steve Murphy General Secretary of UCATT, said:

    “The rise in fatalities corresponds with a very modest upturn in construction. All the previous evidence shows that as the industry gets busier deaths and accidents increase. These dangers are being exacerbated by the massive cuts that the Government have made to the HSE’s budget and their continued attack on safety laws and regulations.”

    Mesothelioma deaths provide “stark reminder”

    HSE has also today released the latest number of deaths from mesothelioma, a cancer caused by exposure to asbestos. These show that 2,535 people died in 2012, which is an increased from 2,291 in 2011.

    Judith Hackitt said:

    “The high numbers of deaths relating to mesothelioma are a reminder of historically poor standards of workplace health and safety, which decades later are causing thousands of painful, untimely deaths each year. While we now recognise and are better positioned to manage such health risks, these statistics are a stark reminder of the importance of keeping health standards in the workplace on a par with those we apply to safety.”

    Based on the latest available data Britain continues to have the lowest rate of fatal injuries to workers among the five leading industrial nations in Europe – Germany, France, Spain and Italy for the eighth year.

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