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Safer working environments thanks to groundbreaking Act

In the 40 years of the ground-breaking Act, countless lives have been saved and thousands more people have also been saved from injury

At times ridiculed and bemoaned as being overbearing and excessive, there is little doubt that the Act has done much to create safer working environments for everyone in the UK.

The statistics speak for themselves. In 1974 there were 651 fatal accidents at work and in 2013, fewer than 150. Whilst 150 is still 150 fatalities too many, this represents a drop of 85%, a figure to be proud of. Indeed, the number of workers injured at work has reduced by 77% – again, there is much to be celebrated in these figures.

There have been many additions to the Act since it was first passed in 1974. It is now supported by guidance and codes of practice with regards to workplace safety. The addition of criminal responsibility of employers with the introduction of corporate manslaughter charges, has really demonstrated the commitment to safety at work.

Diane Parker, head of personal injury at Atherton Godfrey, said: "Sadly, accidents in the workplace do still happen, with some employers still cutting corners and taking risks with their employees' health and sometimes even, their lives. However without the Health and Safety at Work Act, it is difficult to imagine how they would otherwise have been brought to justice.

Every employer has the right to work in a safe environment. The Health and Safety at Work Act protects that right and secures justice for those who have suffered workplace injuries – both vitally important pieces of work."

Have you been injured in a workplace accident? You should seek advice from a specialist personal injury solicitor who can offer guidance regarding your next steps – call 01302 320621 or email

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