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HSE – Falls from Height Biggest Cause of Fatalities in the Workplace

Posted on August 5, 2019

The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) have released their annual workplace fatality figures and found that there have been 147 fatalities in the workplace between April 2019 and March 2019. The biggest cause of these fatalities was falls from height with 40 fatalities in the past 12 months. This is compared to 35 in the period 2017 to 2018. The next main causes were being struck by a moving vehicle (30 deaths) and being struck by a moving object (16 deaths).

The new figures have also highlighted the risk to older workers. 25% of these fatalities have been from workers over the age of 60, even though they only make up 10% of the workforce.

The figures show that the risk increases with age. Those aged 60-64 were found to have fatality rates twice as great as those younger and those over 60 had fatality rates 4 times greater.

Following the release, HSE Chair Martin Temple commented:

“Today’s release of workplace fatality statistics is a reminder that despite the UK’s world leading position in health and safety, we cannot become complacent as we seek to fulfil our mission in preventing injury, ill health and death at work.”

Although the construction sector remains one of the most dangerous sectors, with 30 deaths in the past year, the number of on-site deaths is at its lowest rate on record. Ensuring workers have the proper training in place plays a key role in reducing the risk of fatalities.

Martin Temple also went on to say: “These statistics remind us that, in certain sectors of the economy, workplace deaths remain worryingly high. Agriculture, forestry and fishing account for a small fraction of the workforce of Great Britain, yet accounted for over 20% of worker fatalities in the last year. 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.”

 

Source – HSE

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