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Fatal injury statistics for 2017/18

As a grim reminder of how dangerous a number of workplaces can be, the 2017/18 fatal injury statistics have been published by the HSE. In this period a total of 144 people were killed in workplace accidents (up 7 from 137 last year), with 38 of those fatal injuries happening to workers in construction (up by 8). Construction remained the most dangerous industry to work in, with agriculture (29 deaths), manufacturing (15 deaths), transport and storage, (15 deaths) and the waste industry (12 deaths) following behind. 

There were a total of 35 deaths in ‘other’ industries which include communication, business services, finance sector (11 deaths), wholesale and retail trade (8 deaths), arts, entertainment and recreation (5 deaths), public administration (5 deaths), mining and quarrying (4 deaths), electricity, gas, steam and air conditioning (1 death), water collection, water treatment and supply (1 death).

Last year saw the construction sector make inroads in the safety stakes with the 2016/17 period registering the lowest number ever on record for this sector (30 deaths). However, this year’s total still sits just under the five-year annual average of 39. While a number of these deaths occurred on large building sites, the risk of injury or death while working in residential properties should not be underestimated. With falls from height claiming the largest number of lives, the risk is very real whatever the property. 

Adhering to health and safety legislation may seem like additional red tape, but it could literally save your life. Ignoring health and safety regulations can result in injury, not just to you or your colleagues, but also your customers - especially in homes with more vulnerable people such as the elderly or the very young. In the 2017/18 period, 100 members of the public were killed as a result of a work-connected accident. Even a simple trip hazard can result in serious injuries for which you might be found responsible. 

Your family and friends want you home safely each night. Think of health and safety as your insurance policy to help get you safely through the working day. 

According to HSE figures for the construction industry:

  • 80,000 workers suffer from work-related ill health each year
  • 64,000 non-fatal injuries occur annually 
  • 65% of injuries are musculoskeletal disorders
  • 15% of ill health is caused by stress, depression or anxiety
  • 20% of illnesses are classed as ‘other’ which will include work-related conditions such as asbestos related diseases.

So the next time you are in a rush and consider skipping that risk assessment, or cutting a corner on a job because ‘it will never happen to me’ just remember that just occasionally it does happen to someone and they probably thought the same way too.

Always work professionally, and always work safely.

For more information, download the HSE document Fatal injuries arising for accidents at work in Great Britain 2018 http://www.hse.gov.uk/statistics/pdf/fatalinjuries.pdf

For Health and safety statistics for the construction sector in Great Britain see http://www.hse.gov.uk/statistics/industry/construction/index.htm