Fall in work-related deaths

Posted on

Figures for the number of work-related deaths in 2019/20 have been released by the Health and Safety Executive.

Between April 2019 and March 2020, 111 people were fatally injured at work – a fall of 38 deaths from the previous year.

It is likely the decline was accentuated by the impact of coronavirus on the economy, says the HSE.

Falls from a height were the cause of most of the deaths, 29. Meanwhile 92 members of the public were killed due to work-related activities.

The number of fatal injuries in 2019/20 for many of the main industry sectors is lower than compared with the annual average over the last five years. However, numbers can be prone to year-on-year fluctuations.

Construction is one of the few sectors which saw an increase in the number of fatal injuries to workers, with the number of deaths in 2019/20 (40) above the low of 31 seen in the previous year.

However, annual numbers have fluctuated in recent years. Over the last five years, the number of deaths has ranged between 31 and 47, with a 5 year average of 37 deaths per year.

In Agriculture, forestry and fishing the number of fatal injuries in 2019/20 fell to the lowest level on record (20), though the sector still accounts for around 20% of all worker deaths.

Fatal injury statistics in the HSE report exclude deaths from occupational diseases. Typically, for many occupational diseases, death occurs many years after first exposure to the causative agent.

The asbestos-related cancer mesothelioma is one of the few examples where work-related deaths can be counted directly. There were 2,446 in 2018.