HSE Publish Annual Workplace Fatality Statistics 2018/19:
The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) has released its annual figures for work-related fatal injuries for 2018/19 as well as the number of people known to have died from the asbestos-related cancer, Mesothelioma, in 2017.
The provisional annual data for work-related fatal injuries revealed that 147 workers were fatally injured between April 2018 and March 2019 (a rate of 0.45 per 100,000 workers).
Although the 2018/19 figures saw an increase of 6 workplace fatalities from 2017/18, the number has remained broadly level in recent years:-
Workers deaths recorded by the HSE over the last 10 years show:-
- 2018/19 – 147
- 2017/18 – 144
- 2016/17 – 137
- 2015/16 – 147
- 2014/15 – 142
- 2013/14 – 136
- 2012/13 – 150
- 2011/12 – 173
- 2010/11 – 175
- 2009/10 – 152
The release of workplace fatality statistics by the HSE is a reminder that employers cannot become complacent and the HSE needs more resources and a more pro-active drive in preventing injury, ill health and death at work.
These fatalities need to be considered alongside the number of accidents at work each year:-
Key figures for Great Britain (2017/18)
- 1.4 million working people suffering from a work-related illness
- 2,523 Mesothelioma deaths due to past asbestos exposures (2017)
- 147 workers killed at work (2018/19)
- 555,000 injuries occurred at work according to the Labour Force Survey
- 71,062 injuries to employees reported under RIDDOR
- 30.7 million working days lost due to work-related illness and workplace injury
- £15 billion estimated cost of injuries and ill health from current working conditions (2016/17)
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).
The statistics are also a reminder that, in certain sectors of the economy, workplace deaths remain worryingly high. This is unacceptable and more must be done to prevent such fatalities taking place.
Government and HSE claims that the UK has the best safety record in the world is little comfort to the family, friends and colleagues of the 147 whose lives were cut short this year while doing their job and those suffering life changing injuries or industrial diseases!
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), accounting for nearly 60 per cent of fatal injuries in 2018/19.
The new figures continue to highlight the risks to older workers; 25 per cent of fatal injuries in 2018/19 were to workers aged 60 or over, even though such workers made up only around 10 per cent of the workforce.
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.
Mesothelioma, which is contracted through past exposure to asbestos and is one of the few work-related diseases where deaths can be counted directly, killed 2,523 in Great Britain in 2017- a broadly similar number to the previous five years. The current figures are largely a consequence of occupational asbestos exposures that occurred before 1980. Annual deaths are expected to remain broadly at current levels for the rest of the decade before beginning to reduce in number.
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 and a further LTB will be published in due course.
Further information on the annual statistical releases can be found here:
- Work-related fatal injuries: http://www.hse.gov.uk/statistics/fatals.htm
- Mesothelioma: (see attachment).
National Health, Safety & Environment Officer