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220 work deaths last year

HSE InfoLine : 28 July, 2005  (Company News)
At the launch of the Health and Safety Executive's annual fatal injury statistics Bill Callaghan, Chair of the Health and Safety Commission called for all sections of industry to continue to improve their control of risk.
The statistics show that 220 workers were killed in 2004/05, 16 less than in the previous year. Bill Callaghan commented, 'Although we are making progress, I remain concerned that so many people continue to lose their lives at work. Behind these figures are enormous personal tragedies involving the unexpected loss of family and friends.'

'Clearly the results of thie years report show falls from height remain a big problem amounting to 1 in 4 of all fatalities to workers in 2004/05. This is a particular concern especially in the construction and services sectors. The new Work at Height Regulations require planning, competent people, and selection of appropriate, maintained equipment - a common sense approach that shouldn't be beyond anyone.'

'There were 72 construction fatalities this reporting year, a slight increase from last year. However, employment has increased in construction and the fatal injury rate actually fell (to 3.48 deaths per hundred thousand workers), the lowest rate on record. The challenge will be to continue this progress, particularly, as major projects start up following our successful Olympic bid in the next few years. '

'Being struck by a moving vehicle remains one of the common causes of death for workers despite a decrease in numbers of deaths last year from 44 to 35.'

'As you know we have launched a debate about sensible health and safety, proportionate risk control not risk elimination. Conkers bonkers stories, about conkers being banned in school playgrounds, make me angry and this trivialises what HSE is about. 220 people killed by workplace activities are the reality of failure to manage risk.'

'Within the European Union, only Sweden has a lower rate of workplace fatal injuries than Great Britain. But we are not complacent. More deaths could be prevented with enough commitment from senior managers and the active involvement of employees. These are the people who are best placed to achieve improvements.'

'The Health and Safety Commission and the Executive remain committed to being a good partner, working with others to improve health and safety risk management. We need the support of all our stakeholders to realise our vision of health and safety as a cornerstone of a civilised society. '
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