The latest Health and Safety Executive report has revealed that 147 workers died as a result of injuries at work in the period 2018/19 in the UK. At 0.53 deaths per 100,000 workers, this puts the UK significantly below the European Union average of 1.23.
The agricultural sector had the highest number of deaths, with 9.21 per 100,000 workers, followed by the waste management industry with 6.05 deaths per 100,000. The most common form of death was caused by falling from heights, followed by heavy machinery and moving vehicles. Though protective workwear can prevent some injuries and even deaths, they have limited protection when falling from heights or being struck by a moving vehicle.
Though each year there are fewer injuries and deaths at work, the HSE warned companies about being complacent. Martin Temple, the HSE Chair, said: “Today’s release of workplace fatality statistics is a reminder that despite the UK’s leading position in health and safety, we cannot become complacent as we seek to fulfil our mission in preventing injury, ill health and death at work.”
Temple added that although the number of deaths was comparatively low, this will be of no consolation to the friends and families of the 147 people who died in a workplace incident during the previous year. The full HSE 2018/19 report, titled ‘Workplace fatal injuries in Great Britain, 2019’ can be viewed on the website. It covers data up to and including March of this year.