Food manufacturing tops industry injury league

foodProd300The British Safety Council has welcomed improvements in Britain’s health and safety performance published by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) in its annual statistics report.

HSE noted a significant reduction in the number of workers killed and seriously injured at work, including those in the manufacturing industry. The number and incidence of fatal injuries in Great Britain fell significantly as did the number and incidence of major injuries.

Council chief executive Alex Botha said the number of deaths in British workplaces had halved over the last 20 years – 148 workers killed in 2012/13 compared to nearly 300 in 1993/94 – but picked out the agriculture, construction and waste re-cycling sectors as being responsible for too many unnecessary deaths.

In 2012/13 manufacturing accounted for about 10% of the British workforce, but for almost one in five fatalities to employees and reported injuries to employees. However, there had been reductions in injury and ill health rates over the past decade.

The latest results in manufacturing show

  • There were 20 fatal injuries to workers compared to an average of 28 in the previous five years – about a third (36%) of the number 20 years ago.
  • There were 13 713 reported non-fatal injuries to employees and an estimated 72 thousand cases of all self-reported injuries.
  • About 13% of reported major injuries and 11% of over seven-day injuries involved contact with moving machinery;
  • Food manufacture had the highest number of major injuries, with a rate of reported injury almost twice that of manufacturing as a whole
  • About two thousand occupational cancer deaths each year resulted from past exposures in the manufacturing sector
  • An estimated 3.1 million working days were lost in 2011/12, 2.3 million due to ill health and 787 thousand due to injury,  making a total of 1.2 days lost per worker.

This material is protected by copyright Ken Hurst 2013.


About Ken Hurst

Ken Hurst began his career as a journalist in London over 30 years ago, working on a range of publications before moving on to weekly newspaper production in the newly-independent Zambia of the 1970s. He returned to the UK where his work included spells on newspapers and magazines, before moving to head up Norwich Union’s corporate affairs division. In the 1990s he moved on to freelance, co-own and publish the B2B audio magazine Sound and front the BBC radio Yesterday’s Papers programme. There followed six years as Business Editor at Britain’s biggest selling regional daily newspaper, The Eastern Daily Press, where he led an award-winning team and for whom he still writes a weekly socio/political comment column. Subsequently, he was Group Editorial Director at CBM, responsible for its UK and US magazine output – including The Manufacturer magazine – research-driven industry reports and live events content. Currently he is Contributing Editor at Works Management magazine publisher Findlay Media and Chairman of the consumer publishing house TNT Multimedia Ltd. He is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts and of the British Association of Communicators in Business.
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