Figures published by the Health & Safety Executive (HSE) show that 123 workers were killed in work-related accidents in Great Britain in the year to 31st March 2022, down from 145 the previous year.
Construction once again had more fatal accidents than any other sector, with 30, down 25% from 40 fatalities the previous year. The five-year average for fatal injuries in construction is 36.
Next came agriculture, forestry & fishing and manufacturing
In agriculture, forestry and fishing in 2021/22 there were 22 fatal injuries, a decrease of 12 from the previous year total (34). The five-year average for fatal injuries in this sector is 28.
The manufacturing sector also saw 22 fatal injuries in 2021/22, an increase of three from the previous year total (19). The five-year average for fatal injuries in manufacturing is 19.
The rate of fatal injury to workers in agriculture, forestry & fishing remains markedly higher than the average across all industries – 21 times as high as the all industry rate.
The waste & recycling sector also has a high rate of fatal injury – 11 times the all industry rate.
Construction’s fatal injury rate is around four times as high as the average rate across all industries.
The release of the annual figures coincides with the 50th anniversary this month of the publication of the Robens report. The landmark report led to the Health & Safety at Work Act in 1974, which ultimately led to the HSE being set up the following year.
HSE chief executive Sarah Albon said: “While Great Britain is one of the safest countries in the world to work, today’s figures show we must continue to ensure safety remains a priority. Every loss of life is a tragedy, and we are committed to making workplaces safer and holding employers to account for their actions, as part of our mission to protect people and places.”
The figures relate to work-related accidents and do not include deaths arising from occupational diseases or diseases arising from certain occupational exposures (including Covid-19).
The HSE has also published the annual figures for Mesothelioma, which is a cancer that can be caused by past exposure to asbestos. The figures show that 2,544 people died from the disease in 2020. This is in line with the average of 2,523 deaths over the previous eight years. Current mesothelioma deaths reflect exposure to asbestos that mainly occurred before the 1980s and annual deaths are expected to decline during the next decade.