29 Jul 2014

British workplaces among safest in the world

Figures at a record low on the 40th anniversary of the Health and Safety at Work Act
The number of people who lose their lives at work has dropped sharply by 85 per cent over the past forty years, from over 650 every year in 1974 to a record low of 133 today, new figures reveal.

The number of injuries at work has also reduced considerably by 77 per cent over the same time period, from 336,701 to 78,222. The statistics illustrate the enormous impact of an act that created a flexible, proportionate and world class regulatory system.

The 1974 Act paved the way for the creation of the Health and Safety Commission and the establishment of the Health and Safety Executive as we know it today – which regulates health and safety law working with industry to help them manage their health and safety risks effectively and also bringing irresponsible employers to justice.

Minister of State for Health and Safety Mark Harper said: “Britain has come an incredibly long way over the past forty years in protecting its workforce. Our workplace safety record is now the envy of the world, with businesses and governments queuing up to tap into our expertise.

“Any death at work is a death too many. But few can dispute that the reduction in fatalities and injuries over the past 40 years is a significant step forward. Britain is now officially one of the safest places in Europe – and the world – to work. “So, while we all rightly curse false health and safety excuses, it’s worth thinking how fortunate we are today that we can go out to do a hard day’s work safe in the knowledge that our safety is being taken seriously.”

Judith Hackitt, Chair of the HSE, said: ”Our health and safety law places responsibility on those who create risk to manage that risk in a proportionate practical way. It sets standards in terms of outcomes to be achieved, not by straitjacketing dutyholders and business into doing things in a particular way according to prescriptive rules. “This means that it is universally applicable – regardless of whether you’re farming, fracking for shale gas or working with nano-materials in an ultra high-tech laboratory. The Health and Safety at Work Act may be 40 years old but it – and our regulatory system - are world class.”

HSE Media Centre: 28 July 2014 (Reproduced under the terms of the Click-Use Licence)

There are some pretty impressive statistics to consider in that release by the HSE and little doubt that we are all working in a safer environment today than we were 40 years ago (although some may argue that the decline in heavy industry such as mining etc may play a significant part in those reductions)?

It's unlikely we will ever have a fatality free workplace throughout the UK but we continually strive to ensure that you return home after a day at work rather than becoming a statistic. At Good to Go Safety we like to think that in some small way we are able to help drive these figures down even further. By providing you with an effective SEMS (Safe Equipment Management System) we are helping you to achieve a safer workplace.

So we'd like to give a tip of the hat in the direction of the HSE for their good work over the past 40 years and to employees that have recognised the importance of H&S and helped keep their employees safe. Long may it continue!


  1. I have a list of statistics issued by HSE which I will soon be going to use in my recent blog on Health and Safety Risk Assessments. Thank you for posting this informative article. I think with awareness we all can prevent workplace accidents.

  2. Glad you found it informative Arnold. Feel free to use the Good to Go Safety system as an example of good practice in your blog if you like and we will help raise awareness of your blog via our @goodtogosafety Twitter account.


Powered by Blogger.