REDUCTION IN FATAL ACCIDENTS AT WORK: BUT THE FIGURES MUST BE TREATED WITH CAUTION

The HSE today reported a welcome reduction in fatalities in the workplace.  Workplace deaths are at an “all time low”.

HSE has also today released the latest number of deaths from mesothelioma, a cancer caused by exposure to asbestos. These show that 2,535 people died in 2012, which is an increased from 2,291 in 2011.

However, as this blog recorded in November last year, these figures may not tell the entire picture.  The TUC reported

“The end result of this trawl through official, albeit buried, data takes us from 148 deaths to almost 14,000 deaths in 2012/1013,” he said. “But the under-estimate does not stop there. As the HSE now openly acknowledges, there are significant categories of deaths – at sea, or associated with the airline industry, for example – which are occupational but recorded by other agencies. But by far the biggest omission are the deaths of those who die whilst driving as a normal part of their work. This omits some 800–1,000 deaths per annum – from those who deliver ‘meals on wheels’ to district nurses, postal workers and lorry drivers – because such deaths are recorded as road traffic rather than occupational fatalities. Still, these additions do not capture the full scale of the problem of work-related deaths

It will be interesting to see what the analysis of the figures shows this year.

One comment

  1. There is a similar problem in the reporting of the number of injuries at work as the number of people reporting injuries has dropped 25%. I wonder if this has been accounted for in figures?

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