NEW figures show an increase in the number of work related fatal injuries in Wales.

In Wales, 18 fatal injuries were recorded which was a rate of 1.4 deaths per 100,000 workers between April last year and March 2012.

This is compared to an average of 11 deaths in the last five years and an increase from the 11 deaths recorded in 2010/111.

The figures have been released by the Health and Safety Executive.

They also show the rate of fatal injuries in certain industrial sectors across the UK.

This includes 49 fatal injuries to construction workers, 33 to agriculture workers and five to waste and recycling workers.

Institution of Occupational Safety and Health (IOSH) executive director of policy Dr Luise Vassie said: "It's disappointing to see that there has been an increase in the number of fatalities in Wales, even one person who dies while making a livelihood is too many.

Alarmingly, these figures aren't representative of the real picture, as they don't include the people who have died from work-related illnesses and driving for work.

She added: "There is still much work to be done in getting the message through to employers across Wales and Great Britain, that good health and safety makes good business sense - and bolsters a struggling economy.

"It's so important that worker protection is given its proper attention, especially during times of austerity when staffing levels can be squeezed and workloads increase. It can play an important part in driving efficiencies, reducing lost time, and sustaining a thriving business."

"These figures show how vital it is that the message of good health and safety is no longer diluted or belittled by dangerous stories pedalled by the media and politicians that aren't well-founded."