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It is good to hear that the number of workers killed in Britain fell again last year. According to official statistics published last week by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE), 148 workers were fatally injured between April 2012 and March 2013, compared with 172 in the previous year.

The overall rate of fatal injury has dropped to 0.5 per 100,000 workers, below the five-year average of 0.6.

Looking at some of the high-risk industries in particular:

  • There were 39 fatal injuries to construction workers – down from the average of 53 deaths in the past five years and from the 48 deaths recorded in 2011/12.
  • There were 29 fatal injuries to agricultural workers – down from the average of 36 deaths in the past five years and from the 35 deaths recorded in 2011/12.
  • There were 10 fatal injuries to waste and recycling workers – up from the average of 6 deaths in the past five years and from the 5 deaths recorded in 2011/12.

“Although the number of people killed at work has dropped significantly, last year 148 people failed to return home to their loved ones,” said HSE Chair, Judith Hackitt. “The fact that Britain continues to have one of the lowest levels of workplace fatalities in Europe will be of little consolation to those who lose family members, friends and work colleagues.

“We all have a part to play to ensure people come home safe at the end of the working day and good leadership, employee engagement and effective risk-management are key to achieving this,” she added.

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