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Accident Figures Fall at Work but no Grounds for Complacency

01 November 2013 | Updated 01 January 1970

Latest figures published by the Health and Safety Executive show an 11% drop in major injuries and a levelling off of deaths in the workplace compared to 2011/12 – but there are still plenty of horrendous in accidents.

The provisional statistics show that in Britain between April 2012 and March 2013, there were 19,707 major injuries, such as amputations, fractures and burns, to employees reported (a rate of 78.5 injuries per 100,000 employees) – compared with 22,094 in 2011/12 (a rate of 88.5 per 100,000 employees).

A total of 148 workers were fatally injured – down from 171 the previous year. The average for the past five years was 181 worker deaths per year. Workplace injuries and ill-health (excluding work related cancer) cost society an estimated £13.8 billion in 2010/11 compared with £16.3 billion in 2006/07 (both in 2011 prices).

Chair of HSE, Judith Hackitt, said: “This year’s figures demonstrate that Britain continues to be improve its health and safety performance, with important falls in the number of workers fatally injured and the number of employees suffering major injuries. 

“But we still see too many deaths and injuries occur in the workplace, many of which could have been prevented through simple safety measures.  Getting this right is the key to ensuring that everyone can make it home safely at the end of their working day.”


Man Loses Arm in Recycling Firm Accident

The human cost of injuries in the workplace can focus on fatalities but companies are still being found guilty of negligent behaviour where their employees have lives changed forever.

A recycling company was fined recently for safety failings after a worker lost his arm after trapping it between a roller and the belt of a moving conveyor at a site in North East London.

Domingos da Conceicao Freitas, 28, had to have his dominant right arm amputated following the incident at MSK Waste Management and Recycling Ltd, on River Road, Barking. He is no longer able to work and now struggles with day-to-day tasks, such as washing and dressing.

The Kent-based company was prosecuted by the Health HSE after an investigation identified that the conveyor system posed a clear risk because it was missing important safety guards. His arm was caught and drawn into a roller as he accessed the opening in the frame. HSE established that there were two such openings on the conveyor, neither of which were guarded despite sliding guards being available.

The fine for this may appear to some to be a slight one. The company was fined £10,000 and was ordered to pay a further £5,944 in costs, plus £5,000 in compensation.

Article written by Mike Gannon | Published 01 November 2013


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