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1.3 million employees worked last year while suffering from work-related illness

1.3 million employees who worked during the past year were suffering from an illness (long-standing as well as new cases) they believed was caused or made worse by their current or past work.

According to statistics from the Health and Safety Executive (HSE), 555,000 of these were new cases.

In the past year, 152 workers were killed at work, a rate of 0.5 per 100,000 workers. And 28.5 million days were lost overall (1.2 days per worker), 23.4 million due to work-related ill health and 5.1 million due to workplace injury in the last year.

The British Safety Council (BSC), while welcoming the continued downward trend in the published HSE statistics in workplace fatalities and major injuries, urges the Government and Lord Young to take great care in the planned reforms of health and safety.
Neal Stone, head of policy and public affairs at the BSC, said: "Although workplace fatal and major injuries fell in 2009/10, the stark reality is that 152 workers were killed and more than 26,000 suffered major injuries. These are real people not cold statistics. They must not be forgotten.
"The fine of £1 imposed at Preston Crown Court on Glenmill Group this week, following conviction for breach of health and safety law that contributed to worker Peter Walton's death, sends out all of the wrong messages.
"Thousands of workers are still being injured or made ill by work – the 2009/10 stats are evidence that Peter Walton's preventable death was not an exception but sadly an all too frequent occurrence in a society that has still to grasp the harm and loss that poorly managed health and safety brings. A £1 fine is an insult to Peter Walton's family."