Figures released by the HSE show just how safe – in relative terms – the UK workplace is in relation to overseas countries. A hundred and twenty-three workers were killed in work-related accidents in Great Britain in the last year, according to figures published today (Wednesday July 6) by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE).
The annual data release covers the period from April 2021 to March 2022, during which time most pandemic restrictions were lifted and the economy began returning to normal. The industries with the highest deaths were construction (30), agriculture, forestry, and fishing (22), and manufacturing (22); though agriculture, forestry and fishing has the highest rate of fatal injury per 100,000 workers.
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). The 123 worker deaths in 2021/22 is lower than the previous year, though it is in line with pre-pandemic figures. There has been a long-term downward trend in the rate of fatal injuries to workers, though in the years prior to the coronavirus pandemic the rate was broadly flat.
A further 80 members of the public were killed following a work-related accident in 2021/22. This is an increase on the previous year but below the pre-pandemic level. This is likely to reflect the various COVID-19 restrictions in place.
The release of the annual figures coincides with the 50th anniversary this month 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 then, Great Britain has become one of the safest places in the world to work with the number of workplace deaths and injuries falling significantly.
The HSE has published figures pre-pandemic, (above) which show how safe UK workplaces are compared to other EU nations. Portugal and Cyprus both fare pretty badly. It’s surprising to see Luxembourg ranking highly too, you imagine it’s a highly regulated place.
The EU also rates Luxembourg as the deadliest workplace, with France in second place, according to its 2019 stats. It is worth noting however, that in an ONS `died with Covid’ manipulation of the truth, the EU records all fatalities which occur WITHIN ONE YEAR of an incident in the workplace, as being a workplace accident. In theory you could die from poor medical care, but the workplace accident gets cited as the cause, since that started the chain of events.
More EU stats here.