Annual figures for fatal accidents at work in Great Britain’s workplaces shows 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 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). Fatal injuries at work are thankfully rare events and as a consequence, the annual figures are subject to chance variation.
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.
However, HSE’s Chair points out that every death is a tragedy. Judith Hackitt said: “It is disappointing last year’s performance on fatal injuries has not been matched, but the trend continues to be one of improvement. Our systems and our framework remain strong as demonstrated by our performance in comparison to other countries.
“Every fatality is a tragic event and our commitment to preventing loss of life in the workplace remains unaltered. All workplace fatalities drive HSE to develop even more effective interventions to reduce death, injury and ill health.”
The new figures show the rate of fatal injuries in several key industrial sectors:
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. In addition, the number of fatalities in some regions is relatively small, hence susceptible to considerable variation.
You can download the HSE's report on this here.