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Law for Business

Knowhow - guidance - precedents

25 SEP 2014

40 Years of Health and Safety

40 Years of Health and Safety
The Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974 celebrates its 40th year this year. Since its introduction the number of people who lose their lives at work has dropped sharply by 85 per cent, from over 650 every year in 1974 to a record low of 133 today, new figures reveal.

The number of injuries at work has also reduced considerably by 77 per cent over the same time period, from 336,701 to 78,222. The statistics illustrate the enormous impact of an Act that created a flexible, proportionate and world-class regulatory system. Minister of State for Health and Safety Mark Harper said:

‘Britain has come an incredibly long way over the past forty years in protecting its workforce. Our workplace safety record is now the envy of the world, with businesses and governments queuing up to tap into our expertise.

Any death at work is a death too many. But few can dispute that the reduction in fatalities and injuries over the past 40 years is a significant step forward. Britain is now officially one of the safest places in Europe – and the world – to work.’

More information on health and safety statistics can be found on the HSE website.
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