The Institute of Occupational Health and Safety has reacted to the latest figures produced by the Health and Safety Executive. On reading the figures, IOSH has asserted there needs to be a continued focus on health and safety in the workplace. Sadly, the latest figures show a rise in work-related deaths in Britain.
The new provisional figures released by the Health and Safety Executive show that 144 people were killed whilst at work in 2015-16. This in an increase of 2 work-related deaths from the previous year. The HSE themselves has already called for lessons to be learned to ensure workers are safe throughout the working day. This has been supported by IOSH. The organisation taken the opportunity to highlight how valuable occupational health and safety professionals can be in protecting workers and providing safe workplace environments.
Looking more closely at the HSE figures they show that 43 workers died in construction in the last year. This has been the average figure for the past 5 years. However, there were less worker deaths in the agriculture sector. 27 work-related deaths were recorded rather than the five-year average of 32. Another interesting figure to consider is that 103 members of the public were killed in incidents relating to work in 2015/16. This is something employers need to consider as well as employee statistics. Working environments need to provide the same level of safety for all who enter or pass by, including members of the public.
The HSE has also released the latest asbestos-related cancer figures. 2515 people died from mesothelioma contracted through past exposure to asbestos in 2014. This is a reduction of 41 people on the previous year. It is also in line with HSE predictions.
Too Many Work-Related Deaths
The figures surrounding work-related death do not make positive reading. It is a sad fact that far too many people are still dying in their place of work or due to work-related injuries and illnesses.
Speaking on behalf of IOSH, President Dr Karen McDonnell commented: “Our shared objective is a world where work is safe and healthy for every working person, every day.
Britain is renowned the world over for its health and safety systems. The release of these figures, however, is a timely reminder of the need to continue to improve working conditions, both in Britain and across the world.”
The figures for 2015/16 released by the HSE are currently provisional but any changes will be minimal. A downward trend can be seen, as the figures for the most recent period are lower than the average overall, but this isn’t the case in all the industries. Every work-related death is one too many.
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