The number of working days in the UK lost to ill health and work-related injury has fallen from 40 million days in 2000/02 to 30 million days in 2005/06, official figures have shown.
Statistics published by the Health and Safety Commission (HSC) show that progress to reduce ill health by 20 per cent by 2010 is on track, while progress to reduce working days lost by 30 per cent looks to also be on schedule.
Ill health accounted for around 24 million of the days lost in 2005/6, with musculoskeletal disorders accounting for around three-quarters of these. Reported non-fatal major injuries fell for the second year in a row to just under 30,000, dropping by six per cent
Construction and agricultural work were found to be the two most hazardous job areas, with average rates of self-reported non-fatal injuries at 1,790 and 2,020 per 100,000 respectively.
HSC chair Bill Callaghan said: "I'm delighted that the statistics released today demonstrate improvements across all three of our target areas of ill health, injury and days lost.
"This is testament to the determination and commitment of staff across HSE and in local authorities to concentrate their efforts on those risks that matter."