Yet the number of prosecutions against employers rose 8% last year, according to the Health and Safety Executive (HSE).
Figures from the HSE also show motor vehicle repair has higher accident rates than the rest of the manufacturing sector. Between 2001 and 2003, 5,500 injuries were reported from the sector, some involving members of the public. HSE predicts the actual figure to be higher, due to under reporting.
The main causes of injury are poorly handled heavy objects, slips and trips and staff falling from height or being struck by vehicles or objects. These accounted for 75% of all injuries during the time studied.