Figures recently published by the Health & Safety Executive (HSE) have indicated a rise in the number of fatal personal injuries in the workplace. The figure for the years 2009 to 2010 totals 147 workplace fatal personal injuries while the final figures for 2010 to 2011 stand at 171, representing an increase of over 16%. It may come as no surprise that some industries have more fatal personal injuries than others. In spite of the economic downturn meaning less construction work is going on, the construction industry saw a total of 50 work-related fatal personal injuries last year. It is thought that failure to adhere to policies surrounding health and safety, such as wearing hard hats, is a significant source of the fatal personal injuries. Heavy machinery has played a role in this figure too.
The agricultural industry represents a large percentage of a fatal personal injuries sustained, with 34 deaths happening last year. However, while the overall number of fatal personal injuries in the UK has gone up, this particular figure is marginally lower than the previous year for the agricultural industry. The nature of agricultural machinery continues to create a high risk for personal injuries
in this line of work.
Manufacturing follows these two industries with fatal personal injuries reaching a total of 27 deaths. This means that the manufacturing industry is approximately equal with previous year’s figures. Fatal personal injuries in the service sector remains consistent with previous years too, seeing the sector to be the safest job going. The average total fatal personal injuries stands at 0.02 per 100,000 workers. Interestingly however, the number of deaths represented in this figure is higher on average than agriculture or manufacturing.
In summary, the HSE has recommended that all employers take note of the increase in fatal personal injuries and exercise more care in ensuring health and safety regulations are met. This recommendation especially extends towards the high risk industries which are highlighted above. It is also thought by some experts that continuing strain put on workers in the modern age, with hours being extended in order to make ends meet, may be causing more people to be careless in their fatigued states. The full statistics are published on the HSE website.