HSE Publishes New Annual Figures for Workplace Fatalities – 2017/2018

18th July 2018

The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) has published the latest statistics on workplace fatal injuries in Great Britain for the period 2017/2018.  The report indicates that there is an overall long-term downward trend in workplace fatalities and that in recent years this figure has remained broadly flat, when compared to much higher and fluctuating figures from 20 years ago.

However, this year’s figures do indicate that 144 workers were killed in 2017/2018 (RIDDOR figures) which exceeds the 135* recorded during 2016/2017.  In statistical terms, the average annual number of fatalities over a five-year period is 141.

The report separates the sectors into: construction; agriculture; manufacturing; transport & storage; waste; communication business services & finance; and ‘other’. The majority of fatalities (per 100,000 workers) for this period have occurred in the waste and recycling industry.  Of the 11 deaths in the Communication, business services and finance sector, seven were in the sub-sector ‘administrative and support services’ which includes a variety of activities that support general business operations (such as renting and leasing activities and services to buildings and landscape activities).

This year again, the number of workers aged 60 years and over has seen the highest number of workplace fatalities.  The proportion of worker fatalities contained within this category is always high, but has been steadily increasing.  The three main causes of fatal injuries have remained the same this year – falls from height, struck by moving vehicles and struck by moving objects.

The variations in yearly statistics and overall totals can be put down to chance and randomness i.e. natural variation.  However, although research into the causes of fatal accidents highlights that most commonly an unfortunate set of chance events occurs, it is also evident that inadequacies in safety precautions often exist.

To prevent incidents, organisations which are well-prepared, with adequate safety precautions in place, are likely to have the right inherent approach to safety and risk management in the workplace.  This can be effectively managed by implementing an online property risk management system, such as the S2 Partnership’s property risk management software, RiskWise, which enables organisations to manage and reduce risks and achieve robust safety compliance requirements.  The Accident and Incident module within RiskWise allows clients to track incidents and near misses, identifying and mitigating any risk areas.  This data can be analysed by incident type and root cause over time, building an accurate picture of any trends, and the system can assign actions to help to prevent future incidents.

The S2 Partnership provides a range of Health & Safety consultancy services, managing the health & safety requirements of clients in the UK and abroad.  Health and safety risk management need not be difficult or time-consuming, particularly when clients are in a low-risk environment – the S2 Partnership always begin by finding out what help or advice a client needs, guiding them through the process to deliver a safe working environment. For more information, click here.

To view a copy of the whole report, click here

*Figure was revised down from the figure of 137, which was initially recorded.