HSE makes safety appeal to Scottish workers
New figures show that 20 people lost their lives while at work in 2013/14 and 6,871 suffered injury. This compares to 23 deaths and 7,156 injuries in Scotland the previous year. Statistics also show that around 81,000 people were believed to have been made ill through their work. National figures for Great Britain show 133 deaths, over 79,500 injuries and more than 1.1 million people were estimated to have been made ill through work for the same period.
These latest figures show that those working on construction, manufacturing and waste recycling are at most risk with falls from height and failure to maintain and guard machinery being of most concern.
Alistair McNab, HSE head of operations for Scotland said: “The figures offer encouragement that we are continuing to head in the right direction, but they also show that we can still go further and challenge the industries where there is room to do more. Workplace conditions have improved dramatically in the past four decades, but as employers and the self-employed workers plan and prepare for the new financial year they need to ensure that health, safety and welfare is a clear focus.”
HSE chair Judith Hackitt added: “In the forty years since HSE was formed, we’ve worked with businesses, workers and government to make Britain a healthier and safer place to work.
“Thousands of serious injuries have been prevented and work-related deaths have reduced by 85 per cent. HSE has helped Britain become one of the safest places to work in the world.
“But we must also recognise that there is still a big challenge to prevent the suffering which does still occur. Seeing the annual statistics always leads to mixed emotions, sympathy for those who have suffered injury themselves and for the families and workmates of those who have lost their lives, determination to improve things further as well as encouragement that we are continuing to make progress in reducing the toll of suffering.
“For the last eight years we have consistently recorded one of the lowest rates of fatal injuries to workers among the leading industrial nations in Europe. However, in HSE’s 40th year it is right that we acknowledge the progress we’ve made and look to a future of striving to bring down these statistics even further.”