New figures released by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) show that, despite Britain having some of the safest workplaces in Europe, too many workers are still victims of workplace accidents or illnesses.

Workplace injuries, work related illnesses and workplace fatalities are estimated to cost British society £14.2 billion a year according to the HSE.

The report records that 133 people were killed at work, 77,593 employees suffered an injury at work and 1.2 million people suffered from a work-related illness during 2013/14. In 2012, 2,535 people died from mesothelioma, caused by past exposure to asbestos.

Of the 133 people killed at work in the last year, the majority worked within the construction, agriculture, and waste and recycling sectors.

The most common non-fatal injuries reported by employers, were slips and trips, handling, lifting or carrying and being struck by moving objects. The number of injuries reported under the RIDDOR (Reporting of Injuries, Diseases and Dangerous Occurrences Regulations) was down from 80,368 in 2012/2013 to 77,593.

Richard Johnson, personal injury solicitor in Thompsons’ Birmingham office, said: “The statistics outlined by the HSE give a genuine insight into the workplace risks which persist across UK employers.

“While the UK is still one of the safest places to work in the world and that’s welcome, especially the news that workplace injuries and fatalities have fallen from the previous year, the fact of the matter is that 133 individuals needlessly lost their lives doing their job during 2013/14. Too many families suffered unimaginable grief as a result of poor workplace health and safety or employer negligence.

“There is still much work to do to improve attitudes towards health and safety within UK workplaces. Health and safety is not an unnecessary formality. Regulations and risk assessments save lives and avoid families being torn apart by preventable workplace injuries.”