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HSE releases annual workplace fatality figures

Accident stats

Provisional data reveal that 147 workers were fatally injured across all industrial sectors in 2018/19

THE Health and Safety Executive (HSE) has today released its annual figures for work-related fatal injuries for 2018/19. The provisional annual data reveal that 147 workers were fatally injured between April 2018 and March 2019 (a rate of 0.45 per 100,000 workers).

Although 2018/19 saw an increase of six workplace fatalities from 2017/18, there has been a long-term reduction in the number of fatalities since 1981, with the number remaining broadly level in recent years.

Following the release, HSE chair Martin Temple said: ‘Today’s release of workplace fatality statistics is a reminder that despite the UK’s world-leading position in health and safety, we cannot become complacent as we seek to fulfil our mission in preventing injury, ill health and death at work.’

The new figures show how fatal injuries are spread across the different industrial sectors, with agriculture, forestry and fishing, and the construction sector continuing to account for the largest share of fatal injuries to workers (32 and 30 deaths, respectively, in 2018/19).

The figures also indicate those sectors where the risk of fatal injury is greatest. Agriculture, forestry and fishing, and waste and recycling are the worst-affected sectors, with a rate of fatal injury some 18 times and 17 times as high as the average across all industries respectively (annual average rates for 2014/15–2018/19).

Mr Temple continued: ‘These statistics also remind us that, in certain sectors of the economy, workplace deaths remain worryingly high. Agriculture, forestry and fishing accounts for a small fraction of the workforce of Great Britain, yet accounted for more than 20% of worker fatalities in the last year. This is unacceptable and more must be done to prevent such fatalities taking place.

‘Whatever the sector, we should remember that any change in numbers provides little comfort to the family, friends and colleagues of the 147 whose lives were cut short this year while doing their job.’

The three most common causes of fatal injuries continue to be: workers falling from height (40), being struck by a moving vehicle (30) and being struck by a moving object (16). These accounted for nearly 60% of fatal injuries in 2018/19.

A fuller assessment of work-related ill-health and injuries, drawing on the HSE’s full range of data sources, will be provided as part of the annual Health and Safety Statistics release on 30 October 2019.

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