Figures show slight falls in a number of key areas of workplace ill-health and injury. The provisional statistics published by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) show that in Britain between April 2011 and March 2012:
· 22,433 major injuries such as amputations, fractures and burns, to employees were reported - a rate of 89.90 injuries per 100,000 workers - compared with 24,944 in 2010/11. The average for the past five years is 27,170
· 88,731 other injuries serious enough to keep people off work for four or more days were reported - a rate of 355.5 injuries per 100,000 employees - down from 91,742 the previous year. The average for the past five years is 103,627
· An estimated 1.1 million people said they were suffering from an illness caused or made worse by their work, down from 1.2 million in 2010/11. Of these, 452,000 were new illnesses occurring in-year. The average for the past five years was 1.25 million with an average 554,000 new cases each year
· 173 workers fatally injured - down from 175 the previous year. The average for the past five years was 196 worker deaths per year.
Chair of HSE, Judith Hackitt said:
"Any reduction in the number of people being injured or made unwell by their jobs should be welcomed. Given the challenging economic conditions which many sectors have faced in recent years it is particularly encouraging to see continued reductions in levels of injury and ill health.
" Britain has earned the reputation of being one of the safest places in Europe to work, but there is still plenty of room for improvement. We need to ensure that we all focus on managing the real risks which lead to serious workplace harm.
"HSE remains committed to helping employers understand what they need to do to ensure workers can go home from their jobs safe and well without creating unnecessary paperwork and bureaucracy."
There has also been little change in the industries in which workers are most likely to be injured or made unwell by their jobs - with construction (171.8 major injuries per 100,000 employees), agriculture (241.0 major injuries per 100,000 employees) and waste and recycling (397.6 major injuries per 100,000 employees) among the higher risk sectors.
The toll of injury and ill-health resulted in 27 million working days being lost, an average of 16.8 days per case, with 22.7 million days lost to ill-health and 4.3 million days lost to injuries. These figures are up slightly on 2010/11 when 26.4million working days were lost.
Workplace injuries and ill-health (excluding work related cancer) cost society an estimated £13.4billion in 2010/11.
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