Work-related fatality numbers revealed by Health and Safety Executive


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The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) has revealed that one hundred and thirty-five workers have lost their lives in work-related incidents across Great Britain over the last year.

The most dangerous sectors: construction, agriculture, and manufacturing

According to the published data, construction (45 fatalities), agriculture, forestry, and fishing (21 fatalities), manufacturing (15 fatalities), and transportation and storage (15 fatalities) industries reported the highest numbers of work-related fatalities.

The agriculture, forestry, and fishing sector has the unfortunate distinction of having the highest rate of fatal injury per 100,000 workers of all the main industrial sectors.

The waste and recycling industry followed closely behind.

This annual report from the HSE, which is responsible for regulating workplace safety in Great Britain, covers the period from April 2022 to March 2023.

The major causes: falls, moving objects, and vehicles

The three most frequent causes of fatal work injuries were falls from height (40 fatalities), being struck by a moving object (29 fatalities), and being struck by a moving vehicle (20 fatalities).

In comparison to previous years, the total of 135 worker deaths in 2022/23 is higher than the previous year (123) but is consistent with levels before the pandemic.

Despite these numbers, Great Britain remains one of the safest places in the world to work. Th

ere has been a long-term downward trend in fatal injuries to workers, though the rate remained broadly flat in the years prior to the coronavirus pandemic.

In addition to worker fatalities, another 68 members of the public were killed due to work-related incidents in 2022/23, a decrease of 20 from the previous year.

Public statements and future outlook

Sarah Albon, the Chief Executive of HSE, stated: “Any loss of life in the workplace is a tragedy. While these figures show Great Britain is one of the safest countries in the world to work, safety must continue to be at the top of everyone’s agenda.

“Our mission is to protect people and places and we remain committed to maintaining safe workplaces and holding employers to account for their actions.”

The HSE also released the annual figures for Mesothelioma, a type of cancer caused by past exposure to asbestos. These figures indicate 2,268 people died from the disease in 2021, a decrease of 302 from 2020.

Regulations currently mandate that where asbestos is present in buildings, it must be managed, kept in good condition, and remain undisturbed. If this level of protection cannot be achieved, asbestos must be removed. HSE’s recent campaign, Asbestos & You, aims to raise public awareness of the risks associated with this dangerous substance.

IFSJ Comment

This report is crucial as it highlights the persistent risk workers face in certain industries. It’s a stark reminder that despite improvements, there is still a need for stringent safety measures and regular risk assessments. We must continue our efforts to ensure that every worker returns home safely at the end of the day.

About the Health and Safety Executive (HSE)

The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) is Britain’s national regulator for workplace health and safety. We prevent work-related death, injury and ill health through regulatory actions that range from influencing behaviours across whole industry sectors through to targeted interventions on individual businesses. These activities are supported by globally recognised scientific expertise.

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