The headline figure for 2016/17 is 137 fatal injuries at work with a rate per 100,000 employees of 0.4 and the five year averaged trend at 142. While of course still far too many, it remains one of the lowest rates worldwide and reflects the investment most organisations make in ensuring all their staff coming to work go home safely.

55% of fatal injuries at work are attributable to just three causes, “being struck by moving vehicles”, “falls from a height” and “being struck by a moving object” (including flying or falling). If you add in “trapped by something moving /overturning”, “contact with moving machinery” and “contact with electricity” this rises to 75% (over 100 deaths) of all workplace fatalities for the period. Fall from height, in “trapped by something moving /overturning”, “contact with moving machinery” also showed a lower incidence in 2016/17 compared to the 5 year average, while for all other areas the converse was true.

From a sector perspective Construction and Agriculture at 30 and 27 respectively produced the highest fatality rates amongst the main industry groups – although both were below their five year averaged results (at 39 and 29 respectively).  However for numbers of fatalities per 100,000 workers employed, the waste and recycling industry figure for 2016/17 was 12.69, almost double compared to its five year average of 6.8.

92 members of the public were also killed due to work related activities in 2016/17.

Good health and safety management doesn’t happen by accident and while Great Britain is amongst the lowest risk jurisdictions for workplace fatalities, there is always room for improvement. 

Greg Davies