Businesses in Scotland have been warned to take safety seriously after figures showed 23 people were killed last year at work.
The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) said there were three fewer fatal injuries in Scotland between April 2009 and March 2010 than the previous year, but remained concerned about the number of workplace accidents.
There were 2548 serious workplace injuries in Scotland recorded last year, a fall of 120 from the previous year. An estimated 2.5 million working days were lost – an average annual loss of 1.2 days per worker.
The estimated number of Scots suffering from work-related illnesses also fell by 7000 from 104,000 in 2008/09 to 97,000 last year, and the number of people killed at work across Britain fell to the lowest on record.
Paul Stollard, the HSE’s regional director for Scotland, said: “Again this is a step in the right direction. However, these figures show that there are still numerous cases where the health and safety of workers is not being taken seriously.
“Employers have a legal duty to protect their employees. Health and safety needs to be at the very heart of the business and not seen as an add-on, tick-box exercise at best or an unnecessary burden at worst.”
The HSE figures show that across Scotland, England and Wales there were 152 workplace deaths last year, down from 179 the previous year, a rate of 0.5 deaths per 100,000 workers.