The latest statistics from the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) reveal that 135 workers were killed in work accidents this year. This is 12 more than last year. The deadliest industries were construction, agriculture, forestry and fishing.
Work Fatalities Through the Years
Despite the recent increase, historically work-related fatalities have been on the decline.
The year ending in 2003, saw as many as 227 deaths – more than two-thirds more than the current figure. If we go back to 1981, the records indicate nearly 500 workplace fatalities. Over 3.5 times the number of deaths that occurred in 2022/23.
However, while our workplaces have become statistically safer, the fact remains that far too many workers still die on the job. After all, even one death is an unquantifiable loss for the individual, family and colleagues that worked with the person.
Let’s break down the statistics. In 2023, the number of fatalities in each industry was:
- 45 in construction
- 21 in agriculture, forestry and fishing
- 15 in manufacturing
- 15 in wholesale, retail, motor repair, accommodation and food
- 15 in transport and storage
- 6 in admin and support services
- 6 in waste and recycling
- 12 in other industries
The most fatal work injury was ‘falls from a height’, which amounted to 40 deaths.
Other total fatalities per cause of death were:
- 29 from being ‘struck by a moving object’
- 20 from being ‘struck by a moving vehicle’
- 12 from being ‘trapped by something collapsing/overturning’
- 9 from ‘contact with moving machinery’
Why All This Matters
These statistics highlight the importance of effective health and safety in the workplace. Without it, organisations could be responsible for fatal injuries at work or to members of the public. This could lead to fines or even imprisonment for non-compliance with health and safety legislation. So, it’s essential that managers ensure their workplaces are safe and their employees are properly trained to prevent avoidable disasters.
Since 1992, Human Focus has been leading the way in innovative digital training solutions. More than just the company name, Human Focus is a mission: they believe that training focused on changing human behaviour can make any workplace safer, healthier and more productive. This approach has helped hundreds of organisations develop industry-leading safety cultures and achieve new levels of business performance.