Social media

Javascript is required to use HSE website social media functionality.

New figures show fall in fatal injuries to workers

Date:
3 July 2013

The number of workers killed in Britain last year has fallen, official statistics published today show.

Provisional data released by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) reveals that 148 workers were fatally injured between April 2012 and March 2013, compared with 172 in the previous year.

The overall rate of fatal injury has dropped to 0.5 per 100,000 workers, below the five-year average of 0.6.

Britain has had one of the lowest rates of fatal injuries to workers in leading industrial nations in Europe consistently for the last eight years.

Judith Hackitt, the HSE Chair, said:

"These figures are being published in the same week as the 25th anniversary of the Piper Alpha disaster, and are a reminder to us all of why health and safety is so important. Although the number of people killed at work has dropped significantly, last year 148 people failed to return home to their loved ones.

"The fact that Britain continues to have one of the lowest levels of workplace fatalities in Europe will be of little consolation to those who lose family members, friends and work colleagues.

"HSE is striving to make health and safety simpler and clearer for people to understand so that more people do what is required to manage the real risks that cause death and serious injury.

"We all have a part to play to ensure people come home safe at the end of the working day and good leadership, employee engagement and effective risk-management are key to achieving this."

The new figures also show the rate of fatal injuries in several key industrial sectors:

  • 39 fatal injuries to construction workers were recorded – a rate of 1.9 deaths per 100,000 workers, compared to an average of 53 deaths in the past five years and a decrease from the 48 deaths recorded in 2011/12.
  • 29 fatal injuries to agricultural workers were recorded – a rate of 8.8 deaths per 100,000 workers, compared to an average of 36 deaths in the past five years and a decrease from the 35 deaths recorded in 2011/12.
  • 10 fatal injuries to waste and recycling workers were recorded – a rate of 8.2 deaths per 100,000 workers, compared to an average of 6 deaths in the past five years and an increase from the 5 deaths recorded in 2011/12.

Across Great Britain:

  • 118 fatal injuries in England were recorded – a rate of 0.5 deaths per 100,000 workers, compared to an average of 144 deaths in the past five years and a decrease from the 131 deaths recorded in 2011/12
  • 22 fatal injuries in Scotland were recorded – a rate of 0.9 deaths per 100,000 workers, compared to an average of 22 deaths in the past five years and an increase from the 19 deaths recorded in 2011/12.
  • 8 fatal injuries in Wales were recorded – a rate of 0.6 deaths per 100,000 workers, compared to an average of 12 deaths in the past five years and a decrease from the 19 deaths recorded in 2011/12.

Notes to editors

  1. The Health and Safety Executive is Britain’s national regulator for workplace health and safety. It aims to reduce work-related death, injury and ill health. It does so through research, information and advice, promoting training, new or revised regulations and codes of practice, and working with local authority partners by inspection, investigation and enforcement. www.hse.gov.uk
  2. When making regional comparisons, it should be noted that differences are strongly influenced by variations in the mix of industries and occupations. The number of fatalities in some regions is relatively small, hence susceptible to considerable variation.
  3. In 2012/13 there were 2 fatal injuries to workers where the country/region was not known. These incidents relate to deaths on railways, where a region can not be reliably assigned.
  4. Further data will be released in October on the numbers of serious injuries and estimates of the numbers of premature deaths caused by harmful exposures in the workplace.
  5. Further information on workplace statistics can be found at http://www.hse.gov.uk/statistics/fatals.htm
  6. The average rate of fatal injury over the last five years has been 0.6 per 100, 000 workers. In each of the last five years, the number of fatal injuries has been:
    2011/12 – 172 workers died (previous provisional figure was 173)
    2010/11 – 175 workers died
    2009/10 – 147 workers died
    2008/09 – 179 workers died
    2007/08 – 233 workers died
  7. Based on the latest available data, from 2010, Britain continues to have the lowest rate of fatal injuries to workers among the five leading industrial nations in Europe – Germany, France, Spain and Italy for the eighth year http://www.hse.gov.uk/statistics/pdf/fatalinjuries.pdf
  8. The reporting of health and safety incidents at work is a statutory requirement, set out under the Reporting of Injuries, Diseases and Dangerous Occurrences Regulations 1995 (RIDDOR). A reportable incident includes: a death or major injury; any accident which does not result in major injury, but the injured person still has to take seven or more days off their normal work to recover; a work related disease; a member of the public being injured as a result of work related activity and taken to hospital for treatment; or a dangerous occurrence, which does not result in a serious injury, but could have done.
  9. The figures for 2012/13 are provisional. They will be finalised in July 2014 following any necessary adjustments arising from investigations, in which new facts can emerge about whether the accident was work-related. The delay of a year in finalising the figures allows for such matters to be fully resolved in the light of formal interviews with all relevant witnesses, forensic investigation and coroners’ rulings.

Press enquiries

All enquiries from journalists should be directed to the HSE Press Office