Britain's most dangerous industries

Blog Post by Luc Sidebotham 02 November 2015

The HSE’s fatal injuries in the workplace statistics for 2014/15 have revealed Britain’s most dangerous workplaces. here are the top four:

4.       Manufacturing

With 16 worker fatalities in 2014/15 and a rate of 0.55 deaths per 100,000 workers, manufacturing comes fourth in the list. Averaged over the last 5 years, the fatality rate in manufacturing is 0.84 so last year’s rate represents a significant reduction on recent years.

The statistics show that ‘contact with moving machinery’, ‘struck by moving, including flying/falling, object’ and ‘trapped by something collapsing/overturning’ have been the amongst the most prominent causes of death reported.

3.       Construction

The construction industry was responsible for more worker deaths (35) than any other in 2014/15 but the rate of deaths per 100,000 workers was 1.62. This again slightly down on the five year average of 2.07.

‘Falls from height’ is by far the biggest cause of construction deaths over recent years. ‘Struck by moving vehicle’ and ‘struck by moving, including flying/falling object’ are also significant.

2.       Waste and Recycling

There were five fatalities in waste and recycling, with a rate per 100,000 workers of 4.31. The figure is again slightly down on the recent average of 5.19.

‘Struck by moving vehicle’ has been the most prominent cause of death reported over recent years.

1.       Agriculture

Thirty three worker fatalities in 2014/15 and a rate of 9.12 per 100,000 workers means that agriculture remains Britain’s most dangerous industry. The average, over the last 5 years, is 10.07 fatalities per 100,000 workers, nearly twice the rate of workers in waste and recycling.

‘Contact with moving machinery’, ‘struck by moving vehicle’ and ‘drowning or asphyxiation’ are the most likely reported causes of death over recent years.

The provisional number of workplace fatalities across all industries in Britain in 2014/15 is 142, a rate of 0.46 per 100,000 workers. Whilst this is obviously too high and improvements can and should be made to ensure that nobody dies during the course of their work, the rate compares very favourably to those in the rest of Europe.

Only Malta and Slovakia can boast lower worker fatality rates that Britain when averaged over recent years and Britain has a lower rate than the continent’s comparable large economies of Germany (0.9), Italy (1.29), Spain (1.99) and France (2.64).


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