New figures show fall in fatal injuries to workers

According to official statistics released by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) there has been a decrease in the number of workers fatally injured between April 2012 and March 2013, dropping to 148 from 172 the previous year.

The overall rate of fatal injury has dropped to 0.5 per 100,000 workers, below the five-year average of 0.6.

Britain has had one of the lowest rates of fatal injuries to workers in leading industrial nations in Europe consistently for the last eight years.

HSE Chair, Judith Hackitt said:

“These figures are being published in the same week as the 25th anniversary of the Piper Alpha disaster, and are a reminder to us all of why health and safety is so important. Although the number of people killed at work has dropped significantly, last year 148 people failed to return home to their loved ones.

“The fact that Britain continues to have one of the lowest levels of workplace fatalities in Europe will be of little consolation to those who lose family members, friends and work colleagues.

“HSE is striving to make health and safety simpler and clearer for people to understand so that more people do what is required to manage the real risks that cause death and serious injury.

“We all have a part to play to ensure people come home safe at the end of the working day and good leadership, employee engagement and effective risk-management are key to achieving this.”

The new figures also show the rate of fatal injuries in several key industrial sectors:

  • 39 fatal injuries to construction workers were recorded – a rate of 1.9 deaths per 100,000 workers, compared to an average of 53 deaths in the past five years and a decrease from the 48 deaths recorded in 2011/12.
  • 29 fatal injuries to agricultural workers were recorded – a rate of 8.8 deaths per 100,000 workers, compared to an average of 36 deaths in the past five years and a decrease from the 35 deaths recorded in 2011/12.
  • 10 fatal injuries to waste and recycling workers were recorded – a rate of 8.2 deaths per 100,000 workers, compared to an average of 6 deaths in the past five years and an increase from the 5 deaths recorded in 2011/12.

Across Great Britain:

  • 118 fatal injuries in England were recorded – a rate of 0.5 deaths per 100,000 workers, compared to an average of 144 deaths in the past five years and a decrease from the 131 deaths recorded in 2011/12
  • 22 fatal injuries in Scotland were recorded – a rate of 0.9 deaths per 100,000 workers, compared to an average of 22 deaths in the past five years and an increase from the 19 deaths recorded in 2011/12.
  • 8 fatal injuries in Wales were recorded – a rate of 0.6 deaths per 100,000 workers, compared to an average of 12 deaths in the past five years and a decrease from the 19 deaths recorded in 2011/12.