date: 5 July 2012
embargo: For immediate release
The TUC today (Thursday) called for a change of direction from the government after statistics on deaths at work showed that the rate had remained the same for a second year.
Commenting on the figures TUC General Secretary Brendan Barber said: 'Although any drop in the number of workplace fatalities is to be welcomed, however small, these figures are still well above the historic low of two years ago.
'What is most worrying is that during previous economic downturns there has been a decrease in the rate of fatalities. The fact that this is not happening now suggests that deaths could rise sharply as Britain comes of out recession, unless urgent action is taken to improve workplace safety.
'During the past two years we have seen a considerable fall in the number of routine safety inspections and at the same time both the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) and local authorities have had their funding cut. Yet still we see the government continuing to attack what they claim is an un-necessary health and safety culture, a view that is unlikely to be shared by the families of the 173 people who died last year as a result of their jobs.
'The responsibility for these deaths may lie with the employers who break safety laws but ministers also have a duty to ensure that the rules are enforced and that the protection of workers is seen not as a 'burden' on employers but as a duty.'
NOTES TO EDITORS:
- Statistics published by the HSE today show that 173 workers were fatally injured in Britain last
down from 175 in 2010/11. The rate of fatal injury remains the same at 0.6 per 100,000 workers. A full breakdown of the provisional fatal statistics for 2011/12 is available on the HSE website www.hse.gov.uk/press/2012/hse-fatals1112.htm
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Press release (500 words) issued 5 Jul 2012
This page http://www.tuc.org.uk/workplace/tuc-21176-f0.cfm
printed 23 May 2013 at 11:04 hrs by 184.108.40.206