The 2017 HSE report on workplace fatalities
As a firm specialising in dealing with catastrophic injury claims, we commonly deal with accident at work claims. The injuries suffered at work by our clients can in some cases be significant and life-changing and have a devastating effect on both them and their family.
The Health and Safety Executive has published in its recent report that in 2016/17, 137 workers were killed at work in Great Britain, click here to read more.
The industries in which most fatalities occurred were construction, agriculture and manufacturing. Common accidents included being struck by a moving vehicle or object, falls from height, being trapped by something collapsing or overturning, contact with moving machinery, and contact with electricity.
Given the nature of the work involved, labour-intensive industries are likely to have the highest rate of fatal injuries. However, figures from the past five years suggest that whilst fatalities in construction, agriculture and manufacturing have remained broadly level, they have increased in waste management and recycling.
Whilst figures reveal a downward trend over the last 30 years, there is still a lot to be done to raise awareness to prevent further injuries and deaths.
In 2016/17, 97% of all people killed in accidents at work were men, a similar proportion to other years.
It is also concerning that older workers over the age of 60 are more prone to workplace fatalities than any other age group. This can be seen particularly in industries like agriculture, where health and safety processes are often inadequate or implemented poorly. There needs to be greater awareness and education given to older workers about the importance of health and safety.
It should also be noted that the HSE report excludes figures relating to fatalities caused by occupational disease and work-related injuries such as fatal accidents from work-related collisions, fatal accidents involving workers travelling by air or sea and fatalities to on-duty members of the arm. Therefore, the statistics should be interpreted with some caution.
Regardless of what the statistics reveal, all employers and employees need to be committed to creating a safe work environment.