There was a slight increase in the number of workers killed in Scotland last year, despite an overall fall across Great Britain, according to new provisional statistics from the Health and Safety Executive (HSE).
Great Britain as a whole saw 148 workers fatally injured between April 2012 and March 2013, compared with 172 in the previous year, says the HSE. This means that the overall rate of fatal injury has dropped to 0.5 per 100,000 workers, below the five-year average of 0.6.
In Scotland, however, 22 fatal injuries were recorded – a rate of 0.9 deaths per 100,000 workers – and while this matches the average of 22 deaths in the past five years it is an increase from the 19 deaths recorded in 2011/12.
The Scottish Trades Union Congress (STUC) has expressed concern at the rise.
“Once again we have seen a rise in the number of workers killed in Scotland, 22 workers left for work never to return home and this is unacceptable and does not compare to an overall reduction in the UK wide figure of 148, which is 24 fewer than last year,” said Grahame Smith, STUC General Secretary.
“These figures released today are on the tip of the workplace fatality iceberg and do not include deaths through industrial disease, occupational road traffic accidents or in sectors not included by the HSE Field Operations Directorate,” he said. “Health and safety legislation may be reserved but we believe that the Scottish Parliament should question how our fatal injury rate is nearly twice that of England and why families who lose loved ones have to wait so long for answers.”
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