Provisional annual data for work-related fatal accidents in Great Britain’s workplaces has been released today.
The long-term trend has seen the rate of fatalities more than halve over the last 20 years. However, provisional figures indicate that 144 people were killed while at work in 2015/2016 – up from 142 in 2014/5.
The Health and Safety Executive has called on all sectors to learn lessons to ensure workers return home safe from work.
Martin Temple, HSE Chair said:
“One death at work or life needlessly shortened, is one too many and behind every statistic lies a real story of loss and heartbreak and families left to grieve.
The new figures show the rate of fatal injuries in key industrial sectors:
• Forty-three workers died in construction, the same as the average for the previous five years.
• In agriculture there were 27 deaths (compared to the five-year average of 32).
• In manufacturing there were 27 deaths (compared to five-year average 22), but this figure includes three incidents that resulted in a total of eight deaths.
• There were six fatal injuries to workers in waste and recycling, compared to the five-year average of seven, but subject to considerable yearly fluctuation.
There were also 103 members of the public fatally injured in accidents connected to work in 2015/16, of which 36 (35 percent) related to incidents occurring on railways.
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.
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 2,515 in Great Britain in 2014 compared to 2,556 in 2013.