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Work-related fatality numbers published

04 July 2019

Figures for fatalities in the workplace have been published by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) for the 12-month period between April 2018 and March this year.

This showed that 147 people had died in work-related instances during this period, which is a rate of 0.45% per 100,000 workers.

Stating that the number of fatalities at work had remained broadly level in recent years, this year's figures show an increase of six deaths compared with the previous 12-month period in 2017/18.

It also identifies the industry sectors that have recorded the highest numbers of fatalities, with agriculture, forestry and fishing showing the highest numbers, with 32 deaths, followed by construction with 30.

The waste and recycling sector was also identified as a sector where workers had seen to be at a disproportionately higher risk of death and injury.

HSE chair Martin Temple described these sectors as having workplace death figures that were "worryingly high" and said "more must be done to prevent such fatalities taking place".

"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," he said.

Falling from height was the most common cause of death, accounting for 40 fatalities, followed by being struck by a moving vehicle (30 deaths), or by a moving object (16 deaths).

Workers aged 60 and over accounted for 25% of fatal injuries last year, although they make up around 10% of the workforce.

Further information on the latest figures can be found here.

Figures for mesothelioma fatalities were also published, showing that 2,523 people died from past exposure to asbestos in 2017.

This was described as "broadly similar" to previous years and attributed to occupational asbestos exposure occurring before 1980.

The HSE expects the numbers to remain "broadly at current levels" for the next 10 years, before starting to decline.

Updated analysis on work-related ill-health and injuries will be published by the HSE at the end of October.

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