The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) is urging businesses to focus on their legal responsibility to ensure lives are not put at risk and make the safety of workers their top priority for 2014.
The fresh appeal comes as new figures show that two people lost their lives while at work across the North East in 2012/13 and 941 suffered a major injury. This compares to five deaths and 1,047 major injuries the previous year.
The latest provisional figures show that the number of deaths across Great Britain has fallen in the last year, with 148 people killed at work, compared to 171 deaths during 2011/12. More than 20,600 workers also suffered a major injury in 2012/13, representing a 10.8 percent drop on the previous year. Five in every million workers were killed while at work between April 2012 and March 2013.
High-risk industries include construction which had 39 deaths last year, agriculture with 29 deaths, manufacturing with 20 deaths and waste and recycling with 10 deaths – making up over two-thirds of all workplace deaths in Great Britain during 2012/13.
Steve Smith, Head of Operations for the North East said:
“The families of those workers in the North East who lost their lives last year had to face Christmas without them and hundreds of other workers have had their lives changed forever by a major injury.
“Whilst the number of workplace deaths and major injuries has decreased nationally, these statistics highlight why we still need good health and safety in workplaces. I therefore urge employers to spend their time tackling the real dangers that workers face and stop worrying about trivial matters or pointless paperwork.
“It’s important to remember that while we still have one of the lowest rates of workplace deaths in Europe, one death is still one too many. I would urge businesses to focus on helping to cut the number of deaths further in 2014.”
Information on tackling health and safety dangers in workplaces is available on HSE’s website at HSE