South west a healthier place to work


The south west became a healthier and safer place to work last year, according to figures released today by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE).

Statistics for Great Britain show there has been a significant reduction in the numbers of people killed, injured or suffering work related ill-health from April 2008 to March 2009. In the south west, the number of fatalities fell from 28 to 22 and the number of major injuries fell from 2,354 to 2,346.

Across England, Scotland and Wales, 29.3 million working days (equivalent to 1.24 days per worker) were lost to injury and ill health last year – compared with 33.9 million in 2007/08.

Workplace fatal injuries fell from 233 in 2007/08 to a record low of 180 in 2008/09, and there was a reduction of over 7,000 in the number of workplace injuries classified as serious or incurring more than three days absence from work.

Comparison with international data shows Britain to be one of the safest places to work in the EU.

HSE South West Regional Director, Terry Rose, said: “These latest statistics represent progress for health and safety at work in the South West but employers and employees must continue to ensure the safety of their workplace to reduce the figures even further.”

Major injuries at work have fallen since 2000 and this trend continued last year with 28,692 workers reported as being injured in 2008/09 (94.8 per 100,000) compared with 29,389 in 2007/08 (96.5 per 100,000).

This improvement saw business lose 1.6 million fewer working days through injury, a total of 4.7 million.

The number of people estimated to be suffering from work-related ill health fell by 79,000 in 2008/09 to 1.2 million.

And as a result three million fewer working days were lost to ill health in 2008/09 – a total of 24.6 million.