The latest statistics released by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) reveal that for the first six months of 2005/06 there were 288 fatal injuries, compared with 311 during the same period in the previous year. 113 were workers, whilst 175 were members of the public.

The figures have been condemned by the UK’s largest national trade union and personal injury law firm Thompsons Solicitors. The figures reveal an inability to make any significant improvement on Health and Safety and accidents at work. These figures point to a lack of significant deterrents to employers as marked by the absence of any serious penalties in the recent Corporate Manslaughter Bill.

Mick Antoniw, from Thompsons Solicitors, comments: “These figures will make sad reading for families such as the family of Daniel Dennis who at the age of 17 was killed during his first week at work on a construction site. All the family want is for companies to be held to account so that in future many other families are spared the tragedy of losing a family member in this way.”

The Dennis family is awaiting the result of a judicial review of the CPS for failing to bring manslaughter charges.

Antoniw continues: “We suspect that the numbers of serious injuries and deaths at work will continue to rise until the courts put proper deterrents in place in terms of harsher sentences, and until such time that the Health and Safety Executive is properly resourced and able to investigate fully.”

Daniel’s father, Peter Dennis said: "I am pleased the government is doing something about the Corporate Manslaughter Bill at long last. But it is clearly not enough. The company that killed my son couldn't be prosecuted under the new law and the CPS won't bring charges under the old law. There are too many loopholes and unless the penalties are severe, these rogue companies will carry on killing innocent workers."

The HSC statistics reveal that of the total 288 fatal injuries, 202 were in services, 26 were in agriculture, 2 in extraction and utility supply, 24 in manufacturing and 34 in construction.