WORK: More fatal accidents reported

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The Independent Online
The Health and Saefty Executive expressed concern yesterday after a rise was reported in the number of people killed at work.

A total of 302 employees, including self-employed workers, were killed in workplace accidents in the year to March - 44 more than the previous year, according to provisional figures.

The increase was caused mainly by a rise in the number of self-employed people killed at work, although there were increases in fatalities in the manufacturing, agriculture and construction industries. A "worrying increase" in the number of fatal accidents involving members of the public was also reported.

New figures published on violence at work showed two deaths, 697 major injuries and 3,980 minor injuries.

Jenny Bacon, the HSE's director-general, said the figures were disappointing. "We - and employers and workers in industry - have to take these increases seriously. We don't know whether this is a rather tragic `blip' in the country's previously improving safety record, or the start of an upward drift."