Fatal Injury Statistics

Published:  27 September, 2007

ROSPA - Royal Society for the Prevention of accidents

The latest work-related fatal injury statistics show 35 workers were killed in manufacturing industries in 2006/07. Roger Bibbings, RoSPA Occupational Safety Adviser, for Plant and Works Engineering, reports.

This provisional figure from the Health and Safety Commission (HSC), which contributed to a total of 241 worker fatalities across all industries, is equivalent to a rate of 1.1 fatalities per 100,000 workers.

Although it was a welcome reduction of 10 on the final fatality figure for 2005/06, and the rate had decreased by 0.3, a glance back over recent years reveals that there has been no overall trend towards reducing fatal injuries among manufacturing workers.

The absence of such a sustained reduction is disappointing and reminds us all that we must not become complacent about the effective management of health and safety. This is particularly true for those at the helm of companies - the board level directors and senior managers. 

Another reminder of this came on the same day as the HSC's figures were published, with the long-awaited Corporate Manslaughter and Corporate Homicide Act finally receiving Royal Assent. 

As previously mentioned, the revised law will target organisations - not individual directors and managers - in cases in which standards have fallen far below what might have been reasonably expected.

Investigations into such cases, however, together with changes to the annexes to the Health and Safety Executive"s (HSE) Enforcement Policy Statement, make it likely that the behaviour of individuals will come under much greater scrutiny than before.

Revised guidance on the health and safety responsibilities of directors, which is being jointly prepared by the Institute of Directors and HSE, is due to hit the streets later this year. It is worth making sure that those at the top of your firm are aware of this.

And following its highly successful Directors' Health and Safety Responsibilities event that was held alongside Safety and Health Expo in May, RoSPA is running two further Directors’ Responsibilities Conferences – in Glasgow on September 26 and in London on November 26.

Further information is available by calling 0870 777 2120, e-mailing: events@rospa.com  or visiting www.rospa.com/events

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