The number of workers killed in Britain last year was 148 compared to 172 in the previous year, according to the Health & Safety Executive.
The figure, for the 12 months between April 2012 and March 2013, represents a fatal injury for each 0.5 per 100,000 workers, below the five-year average of 0.6.
Britain has had one of the lowest rates of fatal injuries to workers in leading industrial nations in Europe consistently for the last eight years.
Judith Hackitt, the HSE chairman, said: "These figures are being published in the same week as the 25th anniversary of the Piper Alpha disaster, and are a reminder to us all of why health and safety is so important. Although the number of people killed at work has dropped significantly, last year 148 people failed to return home to their loved ones.
The new figures also show the rate of fatal injuries in several key industrial sectors:
- 39 fatal injuries to construction workers were recorded – a rate of 1.9 deaths per 100,000 workers, compared to an average of 53 deaths in the past five years and a decrease from the 48 deaths recorded in 2011/12
- 29 fatal injuries to agricultural workers were recorded – a rate of 8.8 deaths per 100,000 workers, compared to an average of 36 deaths in the past five years and a decrease from the 35 deaths recorded in 2011/12
- 10 fatal injuries to waste and recycling workers were recorded – a rate of 8.2 deaths per 100,000 workers, compared to an average of 6 deaths in the past five years and an increase from the 5 deaths recorded in 2011/12