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.
Between April 2018 and March 2019, the provisional data for work -related fatal injuries revealed that between this period, 147 workers were fatally injured.
Since 1981, there has been a long-term reduction in the number of fatalities in the workplace. However, 2018/19 saw an increase of 6 workplace fatalities from the year before.
HSE Chair Martin Temple commented on these figures, this is what he had to say ”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 fulfill our mission in preventing injury, ill health and death at work.”
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 also highlighted the risks to older workers, 25% of the fatal injuries were to workers aged 60 or over, but this only made up approximately 10% of the workforce.
Additionally, there were also 92 members of public fatally injured in the incidents connected to work in the year 2018/19, it is estimated that 1/3 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 similar number to the previous five years. The current figures are largely a consequence of occupational asbestos exposures that occurred before year 1980. Annual deaths are expected to remain broadly at current levels for the rest of the decade before beginning to reduce in number.
To read the full figures, please click here
The HSE’s annual Health and Safety Statistics are released on 30 October 2019, this will give a fuller assessment of work-related ill-health and injuries, drawing on the HSE’s full range of data sources.