Two died, 53 hurt at work

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TWO people died while at work in Tyne and Wear and 530 suffered a major injury last year, according to new statistics.

Figures released by The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) for the financial year to the end of March 2011 show there was one death in Sunderland and one in Gateshead.

The HSE is urging employers to make workers’ safety their top priority for 2012 after a rise in the number of workplace deaths nationwide.

A total of 171 people were killed at work last year, compared with 147 during 2009/10. More than 24,700 workers suffered a major injury in 2010/11.

The two deaths and 530 major injuries in Tyne and Wear compare with no deaths and 509 major injuries in 2009/10.

High-risk industries include construction, agriculture and waste and recycling, which made up more than half of all workplace deaths in Great Britain during 2010/11.

Pam Waldron, HSE head of operations in the North East, said: “The families of the two workers in Tyne and Wear who lost their lives last year had to face Christmas without them.

“These statistics highlight why we need good health and safety in British workplaces. It’s important to remember we still have one of the lowest rates of workplace deaths in Europe, but one death is still one too many.”

Information is available at www.hse.gov.uk.