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Reminder for employers after two workers killed in the North East

Date:
30 December 2013

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 two people lost their lives while at work across the North East in 2012/13 and 941 suffered a major injury. This compares to five deaths and 1,047 major injuries the previous year.

The latest provisional figures show that the number of deaths across Great Britain has fallen in the last year, with 148 people killed at work, compared to 171 deaths during 2011/12. More than 20,600 workers also suffered a major injury in 2012/13, representing a 10.8 percent drop on the previous year. Five in every million workers were killed while at work between April 2012 and March 2013.

High-risk industries include construction which had 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.

Steve Smith, Head of Operations for the North East said:

“The families of those workers in the North East who lost their lives last year had to face Christmas without them and hundreds of other workers have had their lives changed forever by a major injury.

“Whilst the number of workplace deaths and major injuries has decreased nationally, these statistics highlight why we still need good health and safety in workplaces. I therefore urge employers to spend their time tackling the real dangers that workers face and stop worrying about trivial matters or pointless paperwork.

“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.”

Information on tackling health and safety dangers in workplaces is available on HSE’s website at www.hse.gov.uk

Notes to Editors:

1. The Health and Safety Executive is Britain’s national regulator for workplace health and safety. It aims to reduce work-related death, injury and ill health. It does so through research, information and advice; promoting training; new or revised regulations and codes of practice; and working with local authority partners by inspection, investigation and enforcement. www.hse.gov.uk

2. The following table lists the numbers of deaths and injuries to workers across the North East during 2012/13 and 2011/12.

Local Authority

2011-12 Fatalities

2011-12 major injuries

2012-13 fatalities

2012-13 major injuries

County Durham

1

189

0

177

Darlington

0

38

0

42

Gateshead

0

88

0

101

Hartlepool

0

46

1

27

Middlesbrough

0

54

0

53

Newcastle

0

144

0

122

North Tyneside

0

44

0

54

Northumberland

2

127

0

110

Redcar and Cleveland

0

58

0

52

South Tyneside

0

42

1

43

Stockton-on-Tees

1

82

0

67

Sunderland

1

135

0

93

NORTH EAST TOTAL

5

1,047

2

941

 

 

 

 

 

GB TOTAL

171

23,174

148

20,683

3. A list of the deaths reported to HSE during 2012/13 is available at http://www.hse.gov.uk/foi/fatalities/2013-14.htm The information is updated on a monthly basis, and does not purport to be a formal statistical release. Subsequent investigation may determine that some are not reportable as workplace deaths, for example deaths due to natural causes.

4. Further information on workplace statistics can be found at www.hse.gov.uk/statistics

5. Based on available data (2010), Britain has the third lowest rate of fatal injuries to workers in Europe – behind Slovakia and The Netherlands.

6. The reporting of health and safety incidents at work is a statutory requirement, set out under the Reporting of Injuries, Diseases and Dangerous Occurrences Regulations 1995 (RIDDOR). A reportable incident includes: a death or major injury; any accident which does not result in major injury, but the injured person still has to take seven or more days off their normal work to recover; a work related disease; a member of the public being injured as a result of work related activity and taken to hospital for treatment; or a dangerous occurrence, which does not result in a serious injury, but could have done.

7. The figures for 2012/13 are provisional. They will be finalised in October 2014 following any necessary adjustments arising from investigations, in which new facts can emerge about whether the accident was work-related. The delay of a year in finalising the figures allows for such matters to be fully resolved in the light of formal interviews with all relevant witnesses, forensic investigation and coroners’ rulings.

8. HSE news releases are available at www.hse.gov.uk/press

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