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HSE releases annual UK workplace fatality figures

11 July 2019

On July 3, the UK Health and Safety Executive (HSE) released its provisional annual figures for work-related fatal injuries for 2018/19. These revealed that 147 workers were fatally injured between April 2018 and March 2019 (a rate of 0.45 per 100,000 workers).

UK rate of fatal workplace injuries 1980/1981 - 2018/2019 - Graphic: HSE
UK rate of fatal workplace injuries 1980/1981 - 2018/2019 - Graphic: HSE

There has been a long-term reduction in the number of fatalities since 1981. Although 2018/19 saw an increase of 6 workplace fatalities on 2017/18, the number has remained broadly level in recent years.

The new figures show how fatal injuries are spread across the different industrial sectors: Agriculture, forestry and fishing, and Construction sectors continue 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).

2018/19 causes of death (& annual average 2014/15-2018/19)
*  Falls from height: 40 (36)
*  Struck by moving vehicle: 30 (27)
*  Struck by moving object: 16 (18)
*  Contact with moving machinery: 14 (11)
*  Trapped by: 11 (14)
*  Other: 36 (36)
The last category includes Exposed to explosion 5 (3) and Contact with electricity 4 (3)

In addition, there were also 92 members of the public fatally injured in incidents connected to work in 2018/2019, approximately a third of which took place on railways.

The UK consistently has one of the lowest rates of fatal injury across the EU.

In 2016, the last year Eurostat figures are available, the standardised rate, at 0.53 per 100,000 employees, was one of the lowest of all European countries and compares favourably with other large economies such as France (3.32), Germany (0.63), Italy (0.91), Spain (1.53) and Poland (0.9).

For further information on work-related fatal injuries go to: http://www.hse.gov.uk/statistics/fatals.htm


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