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Fall in workplace deaths and major injuries

The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) is urging businesses to focus on their legal responsibility to ensure lives are not put at risk and make the safety of workers their top priority for 2014.

The fresh appeal comes as new figures show that 148 people lost their lives while at work across Great Britain in 2012/13 with more than 20,600 suffering a major injury.

The number of deaths is down from 171 in 2011/12 and the number of major injuries has fallen by 10.8 per cent.

High-risk industries include construction which saw 39 deaths last year, agriculture with 29 deaths, manufacturing with 20 deaths and waste and recycling with 10 deaths – making up over two-thirds of all workplace deaths in Great Britain during 2012/13.

The South East of England and Scotland both recorded 22 deaths while the East of England saw 16 fatalities. There were 15 deaths in both Yorkshire and the North West, 14 in the West Midlands, 13 in London and 12 in the South West.

There were seven workplace deaths in the East Midlands and two in the North East.

John Rowe, HSE Head of Operations for Yorkshire and the Humber, said: “It is heartening to see that there was a significant drop in the number of major injuries in the region.

“However, the families of those 15 workers in Yorkshire and the Humber who lost their lives last year had to face Christmas without them. And there are still hundreds of workers who suffer life-changing injury and debilitation because of a major injury.

“While the number of workplace deaths and major injuries has decreased nationally, these statistics, and the human cost behind them, highlight why we still need good health and safety in workplaces.

“Employers could do their staff and their businesses a good deed by spending time tackling the real dangers that workers face, in the factories, on the building sites, in the workshops and on the farms.

“It’s important to remember that while we still have one of the lowest rates of workplace deaths in Europe, one death is still one too many. I would urge businesses to focus on helping to cut the number of deaths further in 2014.”

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