United Kingdom: Workplace Fatalities Hit Record Low

The U.K. Health and Safety Commission (HSC) says workplace fatalities have dropped to a record low, while the workplace fatality rate also is the lowest on record.

In 2005-2006, 212 U.K. workers died on the job, down from 223 in 2004-2005. The fatality rate of 0.71 fatalities per 100,000 workers also marked a record low.

"The figures are very encouraging, but more needs to be done," HSC Chair Bill Callaghan said. "There are still too many people killed at work every year, and quite often simple, inexpensive measures could have prevented the tragic loss of life."

The workplace fatality data cover the reporting year from April 1, 2005, to March 31, 2006.

The figures, which also compare workplace fatality statistics across Europe, show Great Britain has the lowest fatality rate in Europe a rate of 1.1 fatalities per 100,000 workers according to HSC.

"The figures show that [HSC's] strategy is working," Callaghan said. "This is based on enforcement, information and advice, regulation and persuasion and working in partnership with industry and trade unions. The construction industry is an example where all parties have worked closely together over a number of years and achieved impressive results. "

Falls from Heights Remain No. 1

Falls from heights remain the most common cause of on-the-job deaths, with 46 workers killed following a fall compared to 53 workers killed in 2004-2005. The U.K. Health and Safety Executive (HSE) recently launched a campaign warning of the dangers of working at heights.

Two industries construction and agriculture account for just under half of all job deaths in the United Kingdom. However, both industries saw sizeable reductions in the number and rate of fatalities, according to HSC.

In construction, there was a 14 percent drop in the number of workplace fatalities, resulting in the lowest rate on record. In agriculture, there was a reduction of 21 percent to the lowest rate since 1999-2000.

To view the full report, click here.

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