Employers are being urged to focus on the real risks affecting workers after three people lost their lives while at work in Merseyside last year and 479 suffered a major injury.

The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) has asked businesses to rethink workplace safety provisions in the New Year after the number of deaths in Great Britain as a whole failed to show a significant fall in 2011/12.

A total of 173 workers were killed at work in Great Britain last year, compared to 175 deaths during 2010/11. More than 23,000 workers also suffered a major injury.

The three deaths and 479 major injuries in Merseyside last year compare to four deaths and 537 major injuries in 2010/11. Another 2,025 workers suffered injuries which required at least three days off work in 2011/12, compared to 2,213 in 2010/11.

The latest provisional figures show that nationwide, on average, six in every million workers were killed while at work between April 2011 and March 2012.

High-risk industries include construction, which had 49 deaths last year, agriculture with 33 deaths, manufacturing with 31 deaths and waste and recycling with 5 deaths – making up more than half of all workplace deaths in Great Britain during 2011/12.

Urging employers to make the safety of workers their top priority for 2013, David Snowball, HSE’s Director for the North, said:

“Each year, instead of enjoying the occasion, families of workers who failed to come home from work spend Christmas and the New Year thinking of the loved ones who are not there to enjoy it with them.

“Hundreds of other workers who have had their lives changed by major injury will be experiencing difficulties of their own.

“Health and safety in the workplace needs to be taken seriously. I hope that in 2013 employers will tackle the real rather than the trivial dangers that workers face and not mire themselves in pointless paperwork so we can reduce the number of workplace deaths and major injuries.”

Information on tackling health and safety dangers in workplaces is available on HSE’s website at .

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