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Workplace fatality figures for 2020/21

Workers from multiple industries writing risk assessments

The HSE has recently released its annual workplace fatality figures. The headline statistic shows that 142 workers in Great Britain had lost their lives due to workplace incidents - not including deaths arising from occupational exposure to disease, including COVID-19. This is an increase of 29 from the previous year.

Statistically speaking, the number of workplace deaths has remained broadly level through recent years, with the five-year annual average being 136 deaths.

Whilst the recently released figures further prove that Great Britain is one of the safest places to work in the world, they also show obvious areas for improvement.

The three most common causes of fatal injuries in the workplace continue to be...

  1. Workers falling from height (35)
  2. Being struck by a moving vehicle (25)
  3. Being struck by a moving object (17)

In fact, these causes of death account for over half of all workplace fatalities in 2020/21.

The figures also tell us that there is a great risk to older workers, due to a disproportionate amount of fatal injuries. 30% of workplace fatalities were of those aged over 60, although they only make up roughly 11% of the workforce in Great Britain.

The figures for Mesothelioma show that 2,369 people died in Great Britain in 2019. This is 7% lower than the average of 2,540 deaths over the last seven years.

Finally, the figures also show that 60 members of the public were killed as a result of a work-related incident, highlighting the need for all workplaces to have a strong understanding of how their work can affect the public.

A fuller assessment of work-related ill-health and injuries will be provided as part of the annual Health & Safety Statistics release on 16 December 2021.

You can view the recently published statistics here.

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