‘Unacceptable’ rate of workplace injury deaths

The agriculture, forestry and fishing sector saw the highest number of workplace injury deaths in the last financial year, according to new figures published by the Health and Safety Executive.

A total of 32 deaths occurred in the sector, compared to 30 in construction over the same period.

The rate of fatal injuries in agriculture was 18 times higher than the average across all industries.

Martin Temple, chairman of the Health and Safety Executive, said: “These statistics also remind us that, in certain sectors of the economy, workplace deaths remain worryingly high.

“Agriculture, forestry and fishing accounts for a small fraction of the workforce of Great Britain, yet accounted for over 20 per cent of worker fatalities in the last year. This is unacceptable and more must be done to prevent such fatalities taking place.”

“Whatever the sector, we should remember that any change in numbers provides little comfort to the family, friends and colleagues of the 147 whose lives were cut short this year while doing their job.”

The three most common causes of workplace injury deaths were workers falling from height, being struck by a moving vehicle and being struck by a moving object.

Twenty-five per cent of fatal injuries over the past year involved workers aged 60 or over.

Provisional annual data for work-related fatal injuries revealed that 147 workers died between April 2018 and March 2019 – an increase of six on the previous year.

Following a long-term reduction in the number of fatalities since 1981, the number has remained broadly level in recent years.

About Author