WEARSIDE workers have been playing it safe.
The number of serious workplace accidents in Sunderland fell by more than 10 per cent in 2011/12 year compared to the previous 12 months, according to new figures from the Health and Safety Executive (HSE).
There were 586 workplace accidents requiring a minimum of three days off work 2011/12, a fall of 73 on 2010/11’s 659.
There were 452 injuries requiring three days off, compared to 513 the previous year, and 133 “major injury” accidents, down from 145.
But the fatality rate held steady at one, a picture which was reflected nationally, with the number of deaths in Great Britain as a whole failing to show a significant fall.
A total of 173 workers were killed at work in Great Britain last year, compared to 175 worker deaths during 2010/11.
More than 23,000 workers also suffered a major injury.
The five deaths and 1,055 major injuries across the North East last year compare to five deaths and 1,242 major injuries in 2010/11.
Another 3,887 North East workers suffered injuries which required at least three days off work in 2011/12, compared to 4,096 in 2010/11.
The latest provisional figures show that nationwide, on average, six in every million workers were killed while at work between April 2011 and March 2012.
High-risk industries include construction, which had 49 deaths last year, agriculture with 33 deaths, manufacturing with 31 deaths and waste and recycling with five deaths – making up more than half of all workplace deaths in Great Britain during 2011/12.
David Snowball, HSE’s director for Scotland and Northern England, said: “Each year, instead of enjoying the occasion, families of workers in the North East who failed to come home from work spend Christmas and the New Year thinking of the loved ones who are not there to enjoy it with them.
“Hundreds of other workers who have had their lives changed by major injury will be experiencing difficulties of their own.
“Health and safety in the workplace needs to be taken seriously.
“I hope that in 2013 employers will tackle the real rather than the trivial dangers that workers face and not mire themselves in pointless paperwork so we can reduce the number of workplace deaths and major injury.”
Information on tackling health and safety dangers in workplaces is available on HSE’s website at www.hse.gov.uk