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New Analysis Shows the Number of Work-related Fatalities in Britain, in 2021/2022

An amount of 123 workers perished.

We are all aware that fatal workplace injuries are uncommon events. However, they do happen. On 6th July 2022, the British Health and Safety Executive released a preliminary estimate of fatal workplace accidents in the UK in the past year. A total of one hundred and twenty-three workers died, twenty-two fewer than the year before. The count of such deadly events constantly undergoes a natural variation from one year to another. This variation is due to several factors, including individual behavior, equipment quality, and randomness. It is, therefore, crucial to consider patterns over more extended periods to assess changes in trends.

According to the HSE, both in 2020/2021 and 2021/2022, the number of demises was in line with pre-pandemic levels, demonstrating the current stability of working conditions. The research proceeds by analyzing these numbers based on absolute count and by dividing them by industry sector. Data for 2021/2022 is approximately comparable to that of the previous five-year period and mainly involves four industries: Construction, Agriculture, forestry and fishing, Manufacturing, and Transportation and storage. The Construction sector represents the broadest group, with a five-year average of thirty-six deceased workers. The Agriculture, forestry and fishing sector closely follows, averaging twenty-eight deaths over the same span. Lastly, the Manufacturing and Transportation sectors recorded nineteen and fourteen fatal injuries.

Another way the HSE looked at data was by analyzing the fatal injury rate. On this basis, Agriculture, forestry, and fishing come out as the most dangerous sector, with a rate of 8.03 deaths every 100,000 workers. The rates for the other industries were substantially lower: 1.47 for Construction, 1.08 for Transportation and Storage, and 0.82 for Manufacturing. Once again, these results mirror those from the previous five years.

As far as the causes of death are concerned, falls from high points account for 24% of all demises. By contrast, strikes from vehicles and moving objects represent 19% and 15% of the total. Minor causes include collisions with moving machinery and entrapment. It is also worth noting that self-employed workers had a considerably higher fatality rate than employees.

Overall, the UK has a lower workplace fatality rate (0.61 per 100,000 workers) than most of the major economies in Europe, including France, Spain, Italy, and Poland. However, it is still slightly higher than Germany.

Ostensibly, from a long-term perspective, the number of workers killed by work activities has drastically decreased due to improvements in working environments and gears. However, there is still room for additional enhancements that could help prevent future injuries and fatalities.


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