Celebrating 40 years of safety regulations

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The number of people who lose their lives at work has dropped by 85 per cent over the past four decades, statistics to mark the 40th anniversary of the Health and Safety at Work Act show.

The figures have dropped from over 650 every year in 1974 to a record low of 133 today, new figures reveal.

In the North West, all accidents are down 32 per cent down year on year. In 2008/09, there were 23 fatal accidents. Last year it was 15.

The statistics illustrate the enormous impact of an act that created a flexible world class regulatory system.

The 1974 Act paved the way for the creation of the Health and Safety Commission and the establishment of the Health and Safety Executive as we know it today – which regulates health and safety law working with industry to help them manage their health and safety risks effectively and also bringing irresponsible employers to justice.

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. 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.”