The latest figures released by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) have suggested that there has been a worrying rise in the number of fatal work-related incidents in the last year, and that employers could be doing more to protect their workers.
The HSE statistics show that 171 workers were killed between April 2010 and March 2011, which is a significant increase to the 147 workplace-related deaths recorded in 2009-2010.
Employers have a statutory duty to ensure the safety of their employees whilst in the workplace, but these figures suggest that not enough practical steps are being taken to prevent needless accidents, injuries and casualties.
The chair of the Health and Safety Executive, Judith Hackitt, urged employers to be more rigorous in carrying out risk assessments, sending staff on health and safety training courses, and improving safety standards. She said:
“The increase in the number of deaths in the last year is disappointing, after an all-time low last year.
“It’s a stark reminder of the need to ensure that health and safety remains focused on the real risks, which exist in workplaces not on trivia and pointless paperwork.”