THE numbers of deaths in British workplaces rose over the last year, a “buried” report revealed yesterday.
Provisional Health and Safety Executive figures showed that there were 144 workplace deaths in 2015-16, compared to 142 in 2014-15.
And there was a sharp rise in the number of construction deaths — 43 compared with 35 the previous year, making it the the section with the most deaths.
Builders’ union Ucatt accused HSE of “burying bad news” by releasing the stats while the media spotlight was firmly fixed on Chilcot.
Ucatt acting general secretary Brian Rye said: “This is clearly a case of burying bad news. At a time when we have huge amounts of political turmoil and the Chilcot report finally being published, the HSE decided to publish the latest fatality figures.
“They have effectively brushed them under the carpet. They could and should have waited just a single day.
“Each and every one of these fatalities is an individual tragedy and a family will have been left devastated by the loss of a loved one.
“If we are to improve safety in our industry we need to properly address the reasons why people continue to die. Hiding the figures will make the situation worse not better.”
A spokesperson for HSE said: “National Statistics, such as these are subject to pre-announcement in the National Statistics release calendar and release is agreed far in advance, certainly before the Chilcot inquiry date would have been announced.”