The figures revealed there were four fatal injuries to workers in the waste and recycling industry between April 2013 and March 2014.
This is lower than the average count of seven over the last five years. The latest rate of 3.33 deaths per 100, 000 compares to an average rate of 5.48.
In total 133 workers were fatally injured between April 2013 and March 2014, compare with 150 in the previous year.
The overall rate of fatal injury has dropped to 0.44 per 100,000 workers, compared to 0.51 in 2012/13.
Judith Hackitt, the HSE Chair, said: “The release of the annual statistics always leads to mixed emotions. Sadness for the loss of 133 lives, and sympathy for their families, friends and workmates, but also a sense of encouragement that we continue to make progress in reducing the toll of suffering.
Judith Hackitt, the HSE – “Whilst these are only provisional figures, they confirm Britain’s performance in health and safety as world class. For the last eight years we have consistently recorded one of the lowest rates of fatal injuries to workers among the leading industrial nations in Europe”
“Whilst these are only provisional figures, they confirm Britain’s performance in health and safety as world class. For the last eight years we have consistently recorded one of the lowest rates of fatal injuries to workers among the leading industrial nations in Europe.”
Minister of State for Health and Safety, Mike Penning, said: “Any death at work is a death too many. But these statistics show that workplaces are getting safer.
“The Health and Safety Executive do an excellent job in making sure each and every one of us can go out to do an honest day’s work in the knowledge that our safety is being taken seriously.
The news come as a man has died following an incident at a Plevin wood recycling plant near Sheffield at the beginning of the week (30 June).
Emergency services were called to the scene and he was taken by air ambulance to Northern General Hospital in Sheffield where he later died from his injuries.
Jamie Plevin, managing director of Plevin, released a statement, saying: “We are very sorry to report the death of an employee who was working at our Hazlehead site.
“We extend our sincere condolences to his family and friends, and are offering all available support at this difficult time.
“The health and safety of our employees is of the utmost importance, and we are co-operating fully with the relevant authorities to investigate the circumstances around this incident.”
HSE figures published in October last year (2013) showed an 11 percent drop in major injuries compared to 2011/12.
Despite these new figures, however, the waste and recycling sector is still among the “high-risk” sectors, it said.
The waste and recycling sector accrues 369.8 major injuries per 100,000 employees, according to the October figures.
The October report revealed a “general downward” trend in the rate of injury over the last eight years in the waste and recycling industry, but there is also significant year-to-year variation, especially in the number of fatalities, according to the HSE. Injury numbers have been falling for the last four years or longer.
Nevertheless, waste and recycling remains a high-risk industry. Although it accounts for only about 0.6 percent of the employees in Britain it still accounts for 2.8 percent of reported injuries to employees (11 percent fatalities, 2.6 percent major and 2.8 percent of over seven day injuries).
“According to the HSE, there were four fatal injuries to workers in waste and recycling sector between April 2013 and March 2014, which is lower than the average figure of seven over the last five years, and this reduction is very encouraging,” says CIWM chief executive Steve Lee.
“No deaths are acceptable but this shows that our industry continues to make every effort to improve its health and safety record, and I am pleased to report that over 100 organisations have now signed up to CIWM’s Health, Safety and Welfare Pledge.”
“CIWM also welcomes the announcement today of the Environmental Services Association’s renewed commitment to improving health and safety and further reducing accidents by 10 percent year on year until 2018.”
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