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Fewer deaths and injuries in manufacturing - improvement still needed

According to the latest figures released by the Health & Safety Executive (HSE), fewer people employed in manufacturing are being injured or killed by their work.

Between April 2009 and March 2010, the number of reported major injuries, such as amputations or broken bones fell by eleven percent from 4,331 to 3,863 in Britain.

It was also found that during the same period, reported injuries that kept workers away from work for three or more days fell by 16 percent from 17,460 to 14,678.

Across all industries in 2009/10, 152 workers were fatally injured in Britain - down from 179 the previous year. This is the lowest level on record, with 0.5 deaths per 100,000 workers.

22 people died in manufacturing during 2009/10, compared to an average of 33 in the past five years and seven fewer than in 2008/09.

As a word of warning however and a clear sign that improvement is still needed in this sector, 158 employees per 100,000 suffer a major injury or are killed as a result of manufacturing work - which is 50 per cent more than the all industry average rate of 102 per 100,000.

The Head of Manufacturing for HSE Geoff Cox said: "We are encouraged that there are fewer deaths and injuries in manufacturing this year, but we cannot afford to become complacent. The actual rate of death and injury, though that has fallen too, is still significantly higher than that taken from across all workplaces.

"As Britain moves out of recession and work starts up again, we must continue to focus on real health and safety. History shows that accident rates rise in such periods, as new workers are taken on and industry works closer to its capacity. We don't want these improvements to be lost in the economic recovery."

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