There were 2,635 major workplace injuries recorded in the region last year, compared to 2,863 in 2008/9, and 23 deaths − one fewer than the previous year.
But the estimated number of people suffering from work-related illnesses rose by 18,000 from 104,000 in 2008/09 to 122,000 last year.
David Snowball, HSE’s Regional Director for Yorkshire and the Humber, said:
“These figures are a step in the right direction, but they also confirm that there are still numerous cases where the health and safety of workers is not being taken seriously.
“Last year across the region we secured more than a hundred convictions for breaches of health and safety law by companies and individuals. We will continue to focus our efforts on those who fail to meet the standards that employees have a right to expect.”
Across England, Scotland and Wales, 28.5 million working days (equivalent to 1.2 days per worker) were lost to injury and ill health last year – compared with 29.3 million in 2008/09. That figure stands at 2.9 million for Yorkshire and the Humber for 2009/10, an average of 1.5 days per worker.
National workplace fatal injuries fell from 179 in 2008/09 to a record low of 152 in 2009/10, and there was a reduction of more than 11,000 in the number of workplace injuries classified as major or incurring more than three days absence from work.
HSE continues to take a tough line with firms across Yorkshire and the Humber who put workers at risk by breaking safety legislation. It brought 113 offences to court in 2009/10, 101 of which led to conviction.
Comparison with international data shows Britain is still one of the safest places to work in the EU.
Judith Hackitt, Chair of HSE said:
“It is encouraging to see further reduction in the number of people being killed and seriously injured at work. We now need to ensure that the improvements which are being made continue. Every statistic represents an individual or a family which is now suffering as a result of health and safety failings at work.
“Britain remains one of the safest places to work in the EU and we are rightly proud of this record. The challenge now is to focus on those areas where improvement is slow to emerge.
“We know what good practice looks like but there remain significant areas of poor practice which still result in serious harm to people at work. These statistics also remind us yet again of the significant gains which are yet to be made in reducing the harm caused to people’s health by work.”
Major injuries at work have fallen since 2000 and this trend continued last year with 27,096 workers reported as being injured in 2009/10 (91.0 per 100,000) compared with 29,000 in 2008/09 (95.2 per 100,000).
The number of people estimated to be suffering from work-related ill health in 2009/10 was 1.3 million. Almost 1.2 million fewer working days were lost to ill health – a total of 23.4 million.