Over the last two decades, occupational fatalities have been on an obvious steady decline, which has plateaued somewhat in more recent years. However, the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) have released provisional statistics that show that the number of individuals fatally injured at work has actually increased over the last year.
Increase in Fatal Injuries
Across all industry sectors, the fatality rate between April 2013 and March 2014 was 0.45 per 100,000 workers. This figure increased slightly to 0.46 out of every 100,000 workers for the year April 2014 to March 2015, based on a five year average of 156 deaths per year – a rate of 0.53.
The latest figures from the HSE show that the service sector has the greatest number of fatalities. This sector includes a wide range of professions, from healthcare to retail. A total of 51 deaths occurred within this sector for 2014/15 – a 21% increase based on the previous 5 years.
16 people died within the manufacturing sector. This is a third lower than the average over the last 5 years – a rate of 0.55 compared to 0.84 over the last 5 years.
Within the waste and recycling industry there have been a total of 5 occupational deaths – a rate of 4.31 and an increase from the four deaths recorded in 2013/14.
Within the construction sector, there were 35 deaths compared to 44 – a fall of approximately one fifth from the previous year.
Across the UK
The latest figures show that the UK had a total rate of work related fatalities of 0.46 in every 100,000 workers dying. Scotland recorded the highest rate at 0.76, whilst the North East of England having the lowest rate at 0.09. The differences greatly depend on a number of factors, including the mix of industries and occupations within a region.
In total, there were 102 members of the public that died in work related incidents throughout 2014/15.
Judith Hackitt, chair of HSE, has said of the figures:
“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.”