There was an 11% drop in injuries such as fractures, burns and amputations in the workplace in England, Wales and Scotland, the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) said. There were 148 fatal injuries, down from 171 the previous year, while the cost of injuries and ill-health was around £13.8 billion in the year to 2011, against £16.3bn four years earlier.
Judith Hackitt, HSE chair, said: "This year's figures demonstrate that Britain continues to improve its health and safety performance, with falls in the number of workers fatally injured and the number of employees suffering major injuries. But we still see too many deaths and injuries in the work place, many of which could have been prevented through simple safety measures. Getting this right is the key to ensuring that everyone can make it home safely at the end of their working day."
There has been little change in the industries in which workers are most likely to be injured, with construction, agriculture and waste and recycling among the high risk sectors.
Steve Murphy, general secretary of the building workers' union Ucatt, said: "Construction remains the most dangerous industry in the UK. The combination of increased construction activity and the Government's attacks on safety laws is sadly likely to lead to an increase in construction deaths in the future."