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3rd September 2018

Health & Safety Executive (HSE) Releases Fatal Injury Statistics for 2017/18

The HSE release fatal accident statistics annually a few months after April. The provisional Fatal Injury Statistics for 2017/18 for 2017/18 have recently been released showing that 144 workers were fatally injured during the period.

This figure has risen by 7 comparative to the 2016/17 period, however the report suggests that this is not due to any significant reason but natural variation with the average 5 year figure being 141.

What are the main causes of Fatal Injuries at work?

There are 5 types of accident which comprised the majority of fatalities. These are as follows:

  1. Falls from height
  2. Struck by a moving vehicle
  3. Struck by a moving, flying or falling object
  4. Contact with moving machinery
  5. Entrapment by something collapsing or overturning

The first 3 of these categories have accounted for over 50% of all fatal injuries each year for the past 17 years.

Which industries are the most likely to encounter Fatal Injuries?

In pure incident numbers, the construction industry tops the list for fatalities in 2017/18 with 38 comparative to 30 the year before.

Given that the construction industry employs significantly more workers than other high risk sectors, the HSE issue a rate of fatal injuries per 100,000 in order to provide a fair comparison.

These figures show that 1.64 workers per 100,000 encountered fatal injuries in the construction industry.

The sector with the highest figure was the waste and recycling industry with a figure of 10.26. This represents an increase on the 2016/17 figure of 7.22.

Amongst workforces, who are those most at risk?

Self-employed workers accounted for one third of fatal injuries in 2017/18.

Workers in the 60 and above age category accounted for 40% of the statistics despite them comprising just 10% of the workforce.

HSE Action

One of the main drivers behind these statistics is to enable the HSE to spot trends and subsequently target industries and demographics that are most at risk.

Statistics show a relatively consistent trend year on year and so the HSEs focus will continue to be on those sectors that represent the highest risk.

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