17 November, 2018

Stay safe

22 August, 2018

Naturally, most people go to work in the expectation of doing a productive, fulfilling day’s work and returning home satisfied and, most importantly, free from injury. In this day and age, one might think or expect that injury risk is largely a thing of the past. Well, it would seem that there is still work to be done in light of the recent HSE report showing there were 144 workplace deaths from April 2017 to March 2018 – an increase of 9 on the same period last year (6%). Despite the increase, there has been a long-term reduction in the number of fatalities since 1981 and the number has broadly remained level in recent years. However, the proportion of fatal injuries to older workers has been steadily increasing in recent years, although the increase seen in the most recent year is particularly large (Over 60s 2016/2017 – 35) (Over 60s 2017/2018 – 55).


Some 15 deaths were reported in the manufacturing sector (down from 18 in 2016/2017) and 15 deaths were reported in the transport and storage sector (up from 14 in 2016/2017). The most common causes of death in 2017/2018 were workers falling from height (35), being struck by a moving vehicle (26), being struck by a moving object (23), being trapped by something collapsing/overturning (16) and contact with moving machinery (13). The most common causes of death in 2016/2017 were workers falling from height (27), being struck by a moving vehicle (30), being struck by a moving object (19), being trapped by something collapsing/overturning (11) and contact with moving machinery (8).

Despite the fact that the UK consistently has one of the lowest rates of fatal injury across the EU (behind Finland) one of the most shocking indicators of all within the HSE report was the news that deaths from 'workers falling from height' had increased by 29%.

Richard Miller, managing director at powered access rental company Star Platforms, made the point that while it is good to see that the UK has one of the lowest rates of workplace deaths across the EU, and that there is a general, overall downward trend in workplace deaths in the UK, any increase in statistics is still of concern. “It's particularly surprising to see how many people over the age of 60 were killed at work in last year as normally the older you become the more risk averse you are. I wonder what factors are driving these particular deaths?”

He continued: "Though they never make for a cheerful read, figures like these are important to report on and help keep our focus on the health & safety of both employees and the general public that might be affected by workplace incidents. It encourages companies to reflect on their own practices and look at any potential or recurring problem areas and how they can be avoided or resolved.”




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