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HSE releases annual workplace fatality statistics

Provisional annual data for work-related fatal accidents in Great Britain’s workplaces shows a small change from previous years, sustaining a long term trend that has seen the rate of fatalities more than halve over the last 20 years.

Provisional annual data released by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) reveals 142 workers were fatally injured at work between April 2014 and March 2015 (a rate of 0.46 fatalities per 100,000 workers). This compares to last year’s all-time low of 136 (0.45 fatalities per 100,000 workers). The statistics again confirm the UK to be one of the safest places to work in Europe, having one of the lowest rates of fatal injuries to workers in leading industrial nations.

The new fi gures show the rate of fatal injuries in several key industrial sectors:

  • 35 fatal  injuries to construction workers were recorded – a rate of 1.62 deaths per 100,000 workers, compared to an average of 45 deaths in the past five years and a decrease from the 44 deaths recorded in 2013/14.
  • 33 fatal injuries to agricultural workers were recorded – a rate 9.12 deaths per 100,000 workers, the same as the average of 33 deaths in the past five years and an increase from the 27 deaths recorded in 2013/14.
  • Five fatal injuries to waste and recycling workers were recorded – a rate of 4.31 deaths per 100,000 workers, compared to an average of six deaths in the past five years and an increase from the four deaths recorded in 2013/14.

The published statistics also include a breakdown by country and region. These are strongly influenced by variations in the mix of industries and occupations. For example in Scotland and Wales compared to England, there are noticeably fewer employees in lower-risk occupational groups, with relatively more in higher-risk ones.

HSE has also released the latest available figures on deaths from asbestos-related cancer. Mesothelioma, one of the few work related diseases where deaths can be counted directly, contracted through past exposure to asbestos, killed 2,538 in Great Britain in 2013 compared to 2,548 in 2012.

This article first appeared in Law-Now, CMS Cameron McKenna's free online information service, and has been reproduced with their permission. For more information about Law-Now, click here.

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