Warning over deaths at work

Caution tape
Caution tape

A WARNING has been issued over workplace safety after two workers died and more than 900 were injured in Wakefield last year.

There were two deaths, 177 major injuries and 785 injuries or ill-health requiring three days off work in the district, Health and Safety Executive (HSE) figures for 2010-11 show.

The total number of injuries was down on the previous year, when 225 people were seriously injured and 947 needed three days or more off work. There was one death in 2009-10, rising to two this year.

Nationally, 171 people were killed at work last year, compared to 147 deaths in 2009-10, the HSE said.

The figures, which are subject to individual deaths being investigated, show that in Yorkshire and Humber, there were 24 deaths and 2,609 major injuries compared with 23 deaths and 2,741 major injuries in 2009-10.

Paul Spurrier, the HSE’s regional head of operations, said: “While there was a welcome fall in the number of major and other injuries in Yorkshire and Humber, there were still hundreds of workers who have had their lives changed forever by a major injury.

“These statistics highlight why we need good health and safety in British workplaces.

“Employers should spend their time tackling the real dangers that workers face rather than worrying about trivial risks or pointless paperwork.”

High-risk industries included construction, which had 50 deaths last year, agriculture with 34 deaths, and waste and recycling with nine deaths, making up more than half of all UK workplace deaths 2010/11, the HSE said.