02 August 2019

HSE releases annual fatality statistics

The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) has released its annual figures for work-related fatal injuries for 2018/19.

Alongside these figures are the statistics for people known to have died from the asbestos-related cancer, mesothelioma, in 2017.

 HSE workplace fatality figures

The data for work-related fatal injuries revealed that 147 workers were fatally injured in Great Britain between April 2018 and March 2019.

According to the figures there has been a long-term reduction in the number of fatalities since 1981.

Although 2018/19 saw an increase of six workplace fatalities from 2017/18, the number has remained broadly level in recent years.

Worst affected sectors

The new figures show how fatal injuries are spread across the different industrial sectors.

The sectors which continue to account for the largest share of fatal injuries to workers are:

  • Agriculture, forestry and fishing (32)
  • Construction (30).

The figures also indicate those sectors where the risk of fatal injury is greatest.

Based on annual average rates for the last six years, agriculture, forestry and fishing and waste and recycling are the worst affected sectors, with a rate of fatal injury some 18 times and 17 times as high as the average across all industries respectively.

HSE Chair Martin Temple commented:

“These statistics remind us that, in certain sectors of the economy, workplace death remain worryingly high.

“Agriculture, forestry and fishing accounts for a small fraction of the workforce of Great Britain, yet accounted for over 20 percent of worker fatalities in the last year. This is unacceptable and more must be done to prevent such fatalities taking place.”

 Agriculture, forestry and fishing account for 20 percent of workplace fatality figures

The three most common causes of fatal injuries continue to be; workers falling from height (40), being struck by a moving vehicle (30) and being struck by a moving object (16), accounting for nearly 60 percent of fatal injuries in 2018/19.

Older workers appear to be particularly at risk; workers aged 60 or over only make up around 10 percent of the workforce but accounted for 25 percent of fatal injuries in 2018/19.

Mesothelioma-related deaths

Mesothelioma is contracted through past exposure to asbestos and is one of the few work-related diseases where deaths can be counted directly.

It killed 2,523 people in Great Britain in 2017- a broadly similar number to the previous five years.

The current figures are largely a consequence of occupational asbestos exposures that occurred before 1980.

According to HSE, annual deaths from mesothelioma are expected to remain broadly at current levels for the rest of the decade, before beginning to reduce in number.

You can find out more about the ‘Health and safety at work’ statistics on the HSE website.

Health and safety for pest controllers

A broad knowledge of health and safety at work is vital for a pest management technician.

This includes carrying out risk assessments, which enable you to consider the hazards present in a task or activity.

If you’d like to find out more, you can watch the video of our recent webinar on ‘Risk management assessments for pest management professionals’.

There are also a range of Codes of Best Practice and member-only documents available on the BPCA website, many of which provide guidance on health and safety in pest control practices.

Source: Online

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