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    FATAL INJURY STATISTICS 2015/16 NOW PUBLISHED

    Progress on reducing workplace deaths flatlining on number and rate

    Provisional annual data for work-related fatal injuries in Great Britain’s workplaces has been released by HSE today (6th July 2016).

    The long term trend has seen the rate of fatalities more than halve over the last 20 years. However, provisional figures indicate that 144 people were killed while at work in 2015/2016 – up from 142 in 2014/5.

    The Health and Safety Executive has called on all sectors to learn lessons to ensure workers return home safe from work.

    Martin Temple, HSE Chair said:

    “One death at work or life needlessly shortened, is one too many and behind every statistic lies a real story of loss and heartbreak and families left to grieve. Britain has one of the best health and safety systems in the world, but we should always be looking to improve and to prevent incidents that cost lives.

    This year HSE travelled the country asking industry representatives, employers, unions, workers and others what they could do to help GB work well. The response was hugely encouraging and I would like to ask people to deliver on the commitments made, that will help keep Britain’s workers alive.”

    Summary of fatal injuries 2015/16

    The headlines published by HSE are:

    • Number and Rate – the provisional figure for the number of workers fatally injured in 2015/16 is 144, and corresponds to a rate of fatal injury of 0.46 deaths per 100,000 workers;
    • Five year average – the figure of 144 worker deaths in 2015/16 is 7% lower than the average for the past five years (155). The latest rate of fatal injury of 0.46 compares to the five-year average rate of 0.52;
    • Long term trend – over the latest 20-year time period there has been a downward trend in the rate of fatal injury, although in recent years this shows signs of leveling off; and
    • Public deaths – there were 67 members of the public fatally injured in accidents connected to work in 2015/16 (excluding incidents relating to railways, and those enforced by the Care Quality Commission).

    Construction deaths and rate rise 

    The new statistics reveal the following regarding key industrial sectors:

    • Construction – there were 43 fatal injuries to workers in construction compared to 35 in 2014/15 and the five year average of 43. The latest rate of fatal injury is 1.94 per 100,000 workers, compared to 1.62 in the period 2014/15 and a five-year average of 2.04.
    • Agriculture – there were 27 deaths (compared to the five-year average of 32);
    • Manufacturing – there were 27 deaths (compared to five-year average 22), but this figure includes three incidents that resulted in a total of eight deaths;”
    • Waste and Recycling – there were six fatal injuries to workers in waste and recycling, compared to the five-year average of seven, but subject to considerable yearly fluctuation; and
    • Public deaths – there were also 103 members of the public fatally injured in accidents connected to work in 2015/16, of which 36 (35 percent) related to incidents occurring on railways.
    No significant regional differences

    Comparisons of fatal injuries by country or region are based on where the accident occurred.

    After taking industrial composition into account, those regions and countries with seemingly higher rates are not statistically different to the rest of GB.

    In 2015/16 the highest fatal injury rates across all countries and regions were Wales (0.93 per 100,000 workers); Scotland (0.60); and Yorkshire and the Humber (0.58).

    Due to the relatively small numbers and to reduce some of the yearly fluctuation, when averaged across a five-year time period to 2014/15 those regions with the highest fatal injury rates were also Wales (0.81), Scotland (0.73) and Yorkshire and the Humber (0.70).

    The statistics again confirm the UK to be one of the safest places to work in Europe, having one of the lowest rates of fatal injuries to workers in leading industrial nations.

    Minimal decline in mesothelioma deaths

    HSE has also released the latest available figures on deaths from asbestos-related cancer. Mesothelioma, one of the few work related diseases where deaths can be counted directly, contracted through past exposure to asbestos killed 2,515 in Great Britain in 2014 compared to 2,556 in 2013. A fall of 2% in mesothelioma deaths.

    Further information

    A more detailed assessment of the data will be provided as part of the annual Health and Safety Statistics release in early November 2016. The annual release draws on the full range of HSE sources, including changes in non-fatal injuries and health trends, and will provide a “richer picture” on trends.

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