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HSE Work Accident Figures 'Skewed'

HSE Figures Likely To Be "Tip Of The Iceberg"


Data from the Health and Safety Executive on deaths and accidents at work do not give a clear representation of the actual numbers, it has been suggested.

Hazards Campaign said official figures are "skewed" because they do not include people who die from work-related illnesses or suicide as a result of work stress.

The group along with Families Against Corporate Killers (FACK) is now campaigning for all those killed in work-related incidents or from illness to be remembered on Workers' Memorial Day, which is now recognised by the Government.

Hilda Palmer of the Hazards Campaign said: "A more realistic estimate, which includes work-related road-traffic deaths and suicides attributed to work-related stress, is 1500 to 1600 in so-called accidents per year.

"But even these figures are the tip of the iceberg. If we include the many thousands who die from illnesses caused by their working conditions the total could be as high as 50,000 a year."

FACK founder member Linzi Herbertson said: "Our members cannot understand why some workers killed at sea, in the air, on the roads or through work stress suicide, plus all the members of the public killed by work activities, are not included in the 'official figures'."

Copyright © Press Association 2010

David Urpeth, a work accident lawyer from law firm Irwin Mitchell said: “It is important for official data to accurately reflect the true misery of work related deaths no matter how they are occasioned.

“On a daily basis we see misery caused by fatal work accidents and fatal industrial diseases.

“I welcome all initiatives aimed at identifying the true numbers of those injured or killed at work and data like the international workers Memorial Day aimed both at remembering those injured or killed at work or by the work they did.

“All too often we have to help people pursue their compensation claim following circumstances that could and should have been avoided.”