Number of deaths in workplace increases

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A FRESH warning about workplace safety has been issued after recently published figures show that the number of deaths at work went up over the last year.

Among those figures was the death of a Borders man, 48 year old David Barker, who died last January after being struck by a falling object while working at a Galashiels slaughterhouse.

As well as Mr Barker’s death, there were a further 48 major injuries to workers in the region and 144 accidents which results in staff being off work for at least three days.

After publishing the figures,the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) issued a fresh warning about workplace safety and urged employers to make the safety of workers their top priority for 2012. They also reminded employers of their legal responsibility to ensure lives are not put at risk.

Altogether a total of 171 people were killed at work in Great Britain last year, compared to 147 deaths during 2009/10. More than 24,700 workers also suffered a major injury in 2010/11.

The latest provisional figures show that, on average, six in every million workers were killed while at work between April 2010 and March 2011.

High-risk industries include 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 workplace deaths in Great Britain during 2010/11.

Dr Paul Stollard, HSE Director in Scotland, said: “Employers should spend their time tackling the real dangers that workers face rather than worrying about trivial risks or pointless paperwork.”