Employers warned not to take eye off the ball after rise in worker deaths

Employers are being warned not to take their eye off the ball after new figures revealed an increase in the number of workers killed.

The Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents (RoSPA) said one death in the workplace was one too many after annual data released by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE)  showed 142 workers were fatally injured at work between April 2014 and March 2015 - an increase of six from last year’s all-time low.

Of those killed, 35 were construction workers, while 33 were agricultural workers and 51 were workers in services. There were also five fatal injuries to workers in the waste and recycling field.

RoSPA, a charity with almost 100 years of experience in safety and accident prevention, has warned that the figures are just the “tip of the iceberg” as they do not include work-related road deaths, which accounts for about a third of all deaths on the road.

Dr Karen McDonnell, RoSPA’s occupational health and safety policy adviser, said: “These figures are proof that although things have previously steadily improved over the last five years things can get worse very quickly. It’s important for employers not to take their eye off the ball as we must not become complacent when it comes to people’s lives

“Unfortunately, these figures are just the tip of the iceberg as more employees are killed in at-work road accidents than in all other occupational accidents combined, making it the hidden killer on Britain’s roads, something which the data does not show. We must also remember the number of people who are made ill through work.

“While we welcome the low death rate among waste and recycling workers, the number of people killed in the construction field is troubling.

“One fatality in the workplace is one too many as not only is it tragic for the victim’s family and friends but also the organisations involved. Our message is that we want all workers to come home safe after their shifts and we urge employers to do all they can to ensure their workers are safe.”

 



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