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Fewer workers ill and injured

Date 3 Nov 2006

1.5 million working days were lost in the North East due to injury and ill health in 2004/5, according to statistics published by the Health and Safety Commission (HSC). The previous year 2.4 million working days were lost.

Nationally, 30 million days were lost – five million less than in 2004/05. Stress and musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs) make up around three quarters of this figure. In the North East, the rate of MSDs were lower in 2004/05 than the previous year. Injuries caused while handling, lifting or carrying were the major cause of people taking more than three days off work in the North East in 2004/05.

Agriculture and construction remain the two most hazardous industries. The average rate of non-fatal injuries to workers in the last year was 1790 injuries per 100,000 people. In the North East, the service industries accounted for approximately 56%-66% of over three day injuries to employees.

Pam Waldron, Head of Operations for HSE in the North East, said: "This Region is playing a full part in national HSE programmes aimed at addressing the main causes of work-related ill health highlighted in these statistics. We are currently promoting the Better Backs campaign and raising awareness that sensible precautions in the workplace can reduce the incidence and impact of back pain, and that while you cannot prevent all instances of back pain occurring, employers and employees can work together to help people with back pain return to normal activities, including their work."

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