UK workplace fatality data

New UK workplace fatality data was released by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) this week.  It provides an interesting comparison to the recent Australian data.

The HSE says that

“The provisional figure for the number of workers fatally injured in 2008/09 is 180, and corresponds to a rate of fatal injury of 0.6 per 100 000 workers.

The figure of 180 worker deaths is 22% lower than the average for the past five years (231). In terms of the rate of fatal injuries, the latest figure of 0.59 per 100 000 workers is 23% lower than the five-year average rate of 0.77.

Comparison with data from other EU countries over a number of years reveals that the fatal injury rate for Great Britain is consistently one of the lowest in Europe.

There were 94 members of the public fatally injured in accidents connected to work in 2008/09 (excluding railways-related incidents).”

The industries with the highest number of fatalities, in descending order, are:

  • Services sector       63
  • Construction           53
  • Manufacturing        32
  • Agriculture              26

Agriculture has the highest rate of death per 100,000 workers at 5.7

Kevin Jones

Categories death, government, health, OHS, research, risk, safety, Uncategorized, workplaceTags , , , , ,

6 thoughts on “UK workplace fatality data”

  1. It says 2008/2009 when in 2008 to when in 2009? Is there any way of finding out more information eg. what type of accident – truck rollover, when was it? I am trying to gather accident information from all around the world and currently get google alerts for \”worker\” and \”killed\” but my numbers are a lot lower than the above so any additional information would be great.

    1. Fiona
      the details of fatalities very from one jurisdiction to another. I will try to get more contact details for you on Monday. Thanks for the comment

  2. Yes it would be. But if the Australian experience is anything to go by, OHS regulators are increasingly relying on external consultants, professionals, and associations to communicate basic OHS advice. This may be due to the declining presence of union health & safety reps but it seems to me to be a tenuous strategy as it relies on the communicators having a community or business credibility, and I am not sure that is the case.

  3. Statistics, statistics….I just wonder at how useful this stuff is.

    Of course getting the \”big picture\” of safety performance is important. But I\’d suggest it\’s important only because it prompts the question – why. And the \’why\’ question is only worth asking if we can have detailed enough information on what is actually being done on the ground.

    Sure, the big OH&S agencies around the world want to be able to announce how well they are doing compared to everyone else. But surely the most important chunks of data are the ones that tell us why this or that industry in this or that country has managed to get much lower injury rates compared to others. In other words, it ain\’t the comparative data that matters, it\’s the things to be learnt once we have the comparisons.

    What I\’d love to be able to find readily is comparative data on safety prevention campaigns or strategies that have had excellent results, including descriptions of practical ways that employers responded. What\’s happening on the shop floor is what really matters.

    1. Col

      I agree. I would like to see the country that has the lowest fatality rate in agriculture, for instance, and report on how that was achieved.

      On a related topic, I realise that the results of marketing campaigns are notoriously difficult to measure but given that OHS regulators advertise frequently in Australia, surely some analysis has been taken on any possible corresponding reduction in injury rate.

      We can\’t keep devoting tens of thousands of dollars each year to \”raising the community\’s awareness of the importance of safety\”. Someone, somewhere must have identified an activity by an OHS regulator that has reduced death and injury. Or perhaps they already have, and have also decided that such an activity cannot be financially sustained.

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