The Latest Health and Safety Statistics

The Latest Health and Safety Statistics

16th July 2015

The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) is a non-departmental public body that’s dedicated to the regulation and enforcement of health, safety and welfare in the workplace here in the UK. It was created by the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 and has its headquarters in Liverpool. The HSE is responsible for research into occupational risks in England, Wales and Scotland and investigates industrial accidents small and large.

The HSE publishes a range of statistics relating to health and safety in the UK – gathering data from a range of sources including surveys and surveillance schemes. The latest statistics from the HSE show that fatality figures have risen from an all-time low with the number of workers killed in industrial accidents last year. While 2013 – 2014 saw the lowest annual number of work related deaths ever here in the UK at 136, in 2014 – 2015, that number rose to 142. That’s still below the five year average of 156, but it is worrying and serves to remind us that health and safety in the workplace can never be taken for granted.

HSE chair Judith Hacket said that “It is disappointing last year’s performance on fatal injuries has not been matched, but the trend continues to be one of improvement”. However, if we look at the construction industry figures, the number of fatalities actually decreased from 44 in 2013 – 2014 to 35 last year which is 10 fewer than the five year average, an encouraging boost for the sector.

The sector with the highest number of deaths last year was the service industry (which includes railway incidents reported to the Office of Rail and Road). In that sector, there were 51 fatalities which represents a worrying 21% increase when compared with the five year average of 42. The manufacturing industry saw 16 employees killed on the job, a 33% decrease on the five year average of 24 while the waste and recycling industry accounted for 5 deaths last year, a small decrease from the previous figure of 6.

These figures are the most recent and are therefore provisional – the final numbers will be published in July of next year when the regulator has had the opportunity to update the numbers following investigations into fatal incidents. The HSE will release detailed statistics in October.

In the meanwhile, despite the decrease in the number of deaths in the construction industry, this is no reason to become complacent. The UK construction industry is one of the safest in the world, thanks in a large part to the stringent health and safety at work legislation we have. Thanks to organisations like the HSE, the British Safety Council (BSC) and the Institution of Occupational Health and Safety (IOSH), the UK is one of the safest countries to work in whatever the industry. Here at Safety Fabrications we take health and safety at work very seriously indeed and we’re always on the lookout for news, tips and advice to pass on to our readers. Watch this space for more news on safer ways of working in Britain’s construction industry.