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147 Dead - 2018/19 Fatal Injury Stats Released

The provisional 2018/19 HSE fatal injury statistics have been released.
04 July 2019 | Updated 05 July 2019

July 3 saw the HSE release their annual provisional workplace fatality figures for 2018/19. 147 workers died between April 2018 and March 2019 (a rate of 0.45 per 100,000 workers).

There has been a long-term reduction in the number of fatalities since 1981. Although 2018/19 saw an increase of 6 workplace fatalities from 2017/18, the number has remained broadly level in recent years.

Following the release, HSE Chair Martin Temple said: “The workplace fatality statistics are a reminder that despite the UK’s world leading position in health and safety, we cannot become complacent as we seek to fulfil our mission in preventing injury, ill health and death at work.”


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

Agriculture, forestry & fishing and construction continue to account for the largest share of fatal injuries to workers (32 and 30 deaths respectively in 2018/19).

Agriculture, forestry & 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.


Family effects

Temple continued: “These statistics also remind us that, in certain sectors of the economy, workplace death remain worryingly high. Agriculture, forestry & fishing accounts for a small fraction of the workforce of Great Britain, yet accounted for over 20 per cent of worker fatalities in the last year. Whatever the sector, we should remember that any change in numbers provides little comfort to the family, friends and colleagues of the 147 whose lives were cut short this year while doing their job.”


Falls and being struck

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 per cent of fatal injuries in 2018/19.


Age concern

The new figures continued to highlight the risks to older workers; 25 per cent of fatal injuries in 2018/19 were to workers aged 60 or over, even though such workers made up only around 10 per cent of the workforce.


Public deaths

In addition, there were also 92 members of the public fatally injured in incidents connected to work in 2018/2019, approximately a third of which took place on railways.


Asbestos - killed 2,523

Mesothelioma, which is contracted through past exposure to asbestos and is one of the few work-related diseases where deaths can be counted directly, killed 2,523 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. Annual deaths are expected to remain broadly at current levels for the rest of the decade before beginning to reduce in number.


A fuller assessment of work-related ill-health and injuries, drawing on HSE’s full range of data sources, will be provided as part of the annual Health and Safety Statistics release on 30 October 2019.

Work-related fatal injuries



HSE Wants Councils To Get Behind Commitment To H&S

The Health and Safety Executive is urging local authorities (LAs) across the country to make a statement of commitment to work with others to improve health and safety standards in the sectors they regulate.

Figures collected by the HSE show failures in the management of occupational health and safety in LA enforced business sectors result in more than 100,000 new cases of ill health, 5,000 major injuries and the deaths of around 10 workers each year.

LAs predominantly cover the retail, consumer services, entertainment and warehousing/supply chain sectors which account for two thirds of all business premises and around half of the total GB workforce.

Many of those harmed are vulnerable workers not provided with reasonable workplace protection. Around 15 members of the public, including children are killed each year in avoidable incidents because of workplace activity.

Many LAs in Great Britain face a challenging environment that impact on the way they deliver a wide range of regulatory services and statutory duties so a Statement of Commitment (SoC) has been developed by the HSE and LA representative bodies across Great Britain.

The SoC has been endorsed by the HSE’s Board, the Local Government Association, the Welsh Local Government Association and the Society of Chief Officers of Environmental Health in Scotland.

Councillors, Chief Executives and Heads of Regulatory Services in LA’s are also being encouraged to publicly commit to the SoC and embed the principles within their service plans.


The SoC recognises that:

  • LAs must target and prioritise regulatory resources to meet their legal duties.

  • Continued delivery of effective co-regulation will require ongoing evolution in both the LA and HSE approaches to regulatory delivery.

  • The HSE and LA co-regulatory partnership plays a vital role in delivering the ‘Help GB Work Well’ strategy.

Statement of Commitment


Picture: The provisional 2018/19 HSE fatal injury statistics have been released.

Article written by Brian Shillibeer | Published 04 July 2019


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