Workplace fatalities on par with past decade average

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Workplace fatalities are back to pre-pandemic levels, says HSE, which has reported that 123 workers were killed in work-related accidents in the last year.

The annual data covers April 2021 to March 2022, when most pandemic restrictions were lifted and the economy began returning to normal.

The loss of 123 workers in British workplaces in 2021/22 is lower than the previous year (142) but is in line with pre-pandemic figures. Before 2020, we saw trends remain broadly flat for workplace deaths endure over the past decade, after a long-term downward trend.

The most common cause of fatal injuries in the last year was falling from height. Photograph: iStock

The industries with the highest deaths were construction (30), agriculture, forestry, and fishing (22), and manufacturing (22).

The three most common causes of fatal injuries continue to be falling from height (29), being struck by a moving vehicle (23), and being struck by a moving object (18). 

Mesothelioma statistics for Britain were also released in a separate report. They show that women’s deaths from the asbestos-related disease have been rising, whereas male deaths have stabilised. In 2020, There were 459 female deaths, higher than the average of 416 deaths per year over the previous eight years. Male deaths show a similar number in 2020 (2,085 deaths) to the annual average in the past eight years (2,107 deaths).

The release of the annual figures coincides with the 50th anniversary in July of the publication of the Robens report. The landmark report led to the Health and Safety at Work Act in 1974, which ultimately led to the HSE being set up the following year.

Since Robens, workplace fatalities, serious injuries and accidents have reduced significantly. Fatalities have fallen by 88 per cent since 1974 and non-fatal accidents by 72 per cent since 1986/87, according to research.

HSE’s Chief Executive Sarah Albon said: “While Great Britain is one of the safest countries in the world to work, today’s figures show we must continue to ensure safety remains a priority. Every loss of life is a tragedy, and we are committed to making workplaces safer and holding employers to account for their actions, as part of our mission to protect people and places.”

Workplace fatal injuries in Great Britain, 2022 report here

Mesothelioma statistics for Great Britain, 2022 report here



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