The Hazards Campaign
Hazards Campaign says HSE statistics drastically misrepresent cost of work
H&S statistics for 20-07/08 published yesterday by the HSE claimed they ‘reveal a reduction in number of people killed, injured or made ill by work during 2007/08’ and claim ‘229 people were killed by work.’ 1
The Hazards Campaign challenges these figures claiming they drastically undercount the numbers killed in work-related incidents, do not include those killed by occupational illness, and grossly underestimate the numbers suffering from work-related ill-health 2
Hazards Campaign spokesperson Hilda Palmer said:
The headline fatality
figure quoted in HSE press release ‘229 people were killed at work’
fails to make clear that this refers only the workers killed in workplace
incidents whose deaths were reportable to the HSE or local authorities,
not those reportable to other enforcement authorities such as the police,
the Maritime and Coastguard Agency or the Civil Aviation Authority.
The HSE 229 fatalities do not include:
The Hazards Campaign estimates the total number of people killed in work-related incidents last year as about 1,454 -1,606 which is 6-7 times the HSE headline figure, and more than the number of murders each year (5)!
But the iceberg of work-related ill-health is as always, the number dying each year due to occupational illnesses which the Hazards Campaign estimate as up to 50,000.
The HSE statistics state that ‘every year thousands of people die from work-related diseases’ and itemise these as work-related cancer deaths in excess of 6,000, of which about 4,000 are due to asbestos cancers, plus 111 deaths from asbestosis, 182 from pneumoconiosis, and around 15% of COPD that may be work-related, which is about 4,000 deaths. Adding this up gives an HSE estimate of deaths due to work-related diseases each year of 10,293. 6
The Hazards Campaign estimates that each year:
12% of all cancer deaths are work-related which suggests 18,000 deaths, compared to the HSE’s 6,000;
15-20% of obstructive lung disease deaths are work related, which is about 6,000 deaths;
20% of heart disease deaths are work-related, which is about 20,000;
plus 6,000 for deaths from all other work-related causes including restrictive respiratory diseases.
Which gives a possible estimate of up to 50,000 dying from occupational disease each year. 7
For more information contact Hilda Palmer 0161 636 7557
and Safety statistics 2007/08 http://wwww.hse.gov.uk/statistics/hssoct08.htm
The Hazards Campaign,
c/o Greater Manchester Hazards Centre, Windrush Millennium Centre, 70