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Over 60s Account for 30% of Workplace Fatalities 

Over 60s Account for 30% of Workplace Fatalities 
22 July 2021
 

Annual workplace fatality figures from the Health and Safety Executive highlight the risks to older workers, with around 30 per cent of fatal injuries in 2020/21 involving workers aged 60 or over.

This is despite the fact that such workers only make up around 11 per cent of the workforce.

There is little conclusive evidence to suggest that older workers have an increased risk of occupational accidents than younger workers. However, while older workers are generally less likely than younger workers to have occupational accidents, accidents involving them are likely to result in more serious injuries, permanent disabilities or death, than for younger workers. Older workers may experience more slips, trips and falls than younger workers, and recovery following an injury may take longer.

 

Key Stats from the Report

 

  • A total of 142 workers were killed at work in Great Britain in 2020/21, an increase of 29 from the previous year.
  • The average annual number of workers killed at work over the five years 2016/17-2020/21 is 136. 
  • The three most common causes of fatal injuries continue to be workers falling from height (35), being struck by a moving vehicle (25) and being struck by a moving object (17), accounting for more than half of fatalities in 2020/21.
  • In 2020/21, 60 members of the public were killed as a result of a work-related incident.
  • 2,369 people died of Mesothelioma in Great Britain in 2019. This is seven per cent lower than the average of 2,540 deaths over the previous seven years.
  • The waste and recycling sector, a relatively small sector in terms of employment, accounted for three worker deaths in 2020/21. This sector has one of the highest rates of fatal injury to workers (around 17 times as high as the five-year-average all industry rate).
  • The construction sector accounted for the largest share of fatal injuries to workers in 2020/21 – 39. The annual average rate of fatal injury over the last five years in construction is around four times as high as the average across all industries.

 

HSE’s Chief Executive, Sarah Albon, said: “Whilst the working world in which we now live has created new health challenges for workers and for those who have a duty towards them, safety must also remain a priority. Whilst the picture has improved considerably over the longer term and Great Britain is one of the safest places to work in the world, every loss of life is a tragedy, we are committed to ensuring that workplaces are as safe as they can be and that employers are held to account and take their obligations seriously.”

Picture: a photograph of a person walking down some outdoor steps

Article written by Ella Tansley | Published 22 July 2021

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