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Stay safe - fatal injury statistics for 2016/17

As a grim reminder of how dangerous a number of workplaces can be, the 2016/17 fatal injury statistics have been published by the HSE. In this period a total of 137 people were killed in workplace accidents (down 7 from 144 last year), with 30 of those fatal injuries happening to workers in construction (down by 13). However, construction remained the most dangerous industry to work in, with agriculture (27 deaths), manufacturing (19 deaths), transport, (14 deaths) and the waste industry (14 deaths) following behind.

The good news is that the 30 construction deaths in the 2016/17 period is the lowest number ever on record for this sector. The annual average of the last five years is 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.

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 - 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 the HSE, each year in the construction industry around 3% of workers suffer from an illness they believe to be work related (some of them fatal such as Asbestos related diseases) and 3% of workers sustain a work related injury. This all leads to some 1.7 million working days a year lost, and if you are self-employed, this equates to a considerable loss of income.

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 2017