The number of people who lose their lives at work has dropped sharply by 85 per cent over the past forty years, from over 650 every year in 1974 to a record low of 133 new figures reveal.
The number of injuries at work has also reduced considerably by 77 per cent over the same time period, from 336, 701 to 78,222. The statistics illustrate the enormous impact of an act that created a flexible, proportionate and world class regulatory system.
We like to think that businesses are in many instances now receiving better more focussed health & safety advice and this has contributed to the continual improvements in the safety of UK workplaces.
As the Minister of State for Health and Safety Mark Harper said: “Britain has come an incredibly long way over the past forty years in protecting its workforce. Our workplace safety record is now the envy of the world, with businesses and governments queuing up to tap into our expertise. “
Clearly any death at work is a death that should not happen; however the reductions in fatalities and injuries over the past 40 years is a significant achievement to maintaining our right to go home in the same fit healthy condition as we start the day.
Britain is now officially one of the safest places in Europe – and the world – to work. It remains a fact that some take health & safety too far and we need to continue to work hard to rid our industry of these people. We all rightly curse false health and safety excuses, but it’s worth thinking how fortunate we are today that we can go out to do a hard day’s work safe in the knowledge that our safety is being taken seriously.
Our health and safety law places responsibility on those who create risk to manage that risk in a proportionate practical way. It’s the quest for consultancies like MESH to ensure all that all businesses have access to the right advice and their workplaces remain safe and free from regulator intervention.