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Deaths in the workplace rise


Annual figures have now been released by the Health & Safety Executive (HSE) for work-related fatal injuries for 2017/18.
 
The statistics show that between April 2017 and March 2018, a total of 144 workers were fatally injured. This is an increase of nine workers over the same period in 2016/17 and although this is a small increase there has been a long-term reduction in the number of fatalities since 1981 and the level has stayed broadly the same in recent years.

Written on 30th August 2018

Annual figures have now been released by the Health & Safety Executive (HSE) for work-related fatal injuries for 2017/18.

The statistics show that between April 2017 and March 2018, a total of 144 workers were fatally injured. This is an increase of nine workers over the same period in 2016/17 and although this is a small increase there has been a long-term reduction in the number of fatalities since 1981 and the level has stayed broadly the same in recent years.

The figures indicate the spread of fatal injuries across the different industrial sectors:

  • The largest number, 38 fatal injuries, were recorded in the construction industry.
  • 29 fatal injuries to agricultural workers were noted.
  • 15 workers sustained fatal injuries in both the manufacturing and the transport and storage sectors.
  • 12 waste and recycling workers suffered fatal injuries.

Common causes of fatal injuries

The three most common causes continue to be:

  • workers falling from height (35 fatalities),
  • workers being struck by a moving vehicle (26 fatalities)  
  • workers being struck by a moving object (23 fatalities)

High-risk activities involving working at height, workplace transport, machinery and agriculture remain the main source of workplace fatalities and these three causes accounted for nearly 60 per cent of fatal injuries in 2017/18.  

The HSE statistics are a timely reminder for employers to re-focus on the dangers involved in high-risk activities and their recent investigations have highlighted three significant areas of concern:

Older Workers

The figures also show the risks to older workers. 38% of workers killed in 2017/18 were aged 60 or older, even though that age group makes up only around 10 per cent of the workforce. This statistic points to the fact that employees with significant ‘experience’ are suffering workplace fatalities and demonstrates that employers should be aware that age can be a factor, whether it be the naturally slowing body reactions, fatigue, concentration or over-familiarisation with the task in hand.

Danger to the public

It’s not just workers who are in danger; 100 members of the public were fatally injured in incidents connected to work in 2017/18 and just over half of these fatalities occurred on railways.

Source: http://www.hse.gov.uk/statistics/fatals.htm  

                http://www.hse.gov.uk/statistics/pdf/fatalinjuries.pdf

 

If you would like to discuss any of the issues raised please speak to your usual Franklands contact.

 

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