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Home > News > HSE latest fatal injury numbers indicate a reduction on previous years

2nd March 2009

HSE latest fatal injury numbers indicate a reduction on previous years

The Health & Safety Executive has stated that there were 90 fatal injuries to workers for the six months up to end September 2008.

However, the HSE stresses that these figures are highly provisional, as there are frequently a few incidents which are reported late each year, and some fatal investigations may still be ongoing. It will be March 2010 before these figures are finalised, and they will also include deaths up to a year after the date of the accident. A reporting year covers the period 1 April to 31 March.

When compared to previous annual figures, the six-month figure shows a potentially significant reduction on the previous year, and the previous five-year average.

Workplace fatal injuries

 
Finalised
5-year avg
02/03 to 06/07
Finalised
12-months
06/07
Provisional
12-months
07/08
Provisional
6-months
to Sept 08
Employees 176 191 179 66
Self Employed 54 56 50 24
All Workers 230 247 229 90
07/08 & 6-months of 08/09 are provisional and may be subject to revision
The five-year average includes the finalised figures for 06/07

HSE fatal injury numbers do not include some types of fatal injuries, including fatal diseases, some road traffic accidents and accidents to members of the armed forces

Details of other exclusions and reporting requirements can be found on the HSE website at http://www.hse.gov.uk/statistics/fatalinjuries.htm

Long-term downward trend for fatal injuries at work

According to the HSE, there is a long-term downward trend in the rate of fatal injuries. However, there has been very little change over the last six years as the year-on-year improvement has declined. There were 247 deaths in the 12-month period 2006/2007, slightly higher than the 5-year average of 230.

If correct, the six-month figure of 90, issued by the HSE, would tend to suggest the UK might be on target for a 12-month figure of 180 to the end of March 2009.

Whilst this would be a significant reduction on the five-year average of 230, and the provisional figure for 2007/2008 of 229, this would still mean 180 families devastated in the year by the tragic loss of a loved one.

This estimated annual figure must also be viewed against the fact that factors such as seasonality and late reporting of injuries may substantially alter it, though hopefully reflecting even lower number of deaths.

Trends vary across industry sectors

The HSE five-year fatal injury figures across the main industry sectors show that Agriculture and Construction together account for almost half the average total fatal injuries to workers during that five-year period. Agriculture averaged 38 fatal injuries and Construction 70, giving a total of 108 of the overall average of 230.

Average number of injuries per year for the five-year time period 02/03 to 06/07

Main Industry
Agricul-
ture
Extraction and Utility Supply
Manu-
facturing
Construc-tion
Services
All Industries
Employees
13 (14) 6 (10) 37 (35) 52 (54) 68 (78) 176 (191)
Self employed
26 (22) - (-) 2 (1) 18 (25) 9 (8) 54 (56)
All Workers
38 (36) 6 (10) 39 (36) 70 (79) 76 (86) 230 (247)
(The finalised figure for 06/07 is shown in brackets)

Provisional figures for twelve months 2007/08p (1/04/2007 to 31/03/2008)

Main Industry
Agricul-
ture
Extraction and Utility Supply
Manu-
facturing
Construc-tion
Services
All Industries
Employees
20 9 34 54 62 179
Self employed
19 - 1 18 12 50
All Workers
39 9 35 72 74 229

The 5-year average for the Extraction and Utility Supply sector was 6, including 10 for 2006/2007. Excluding this figure would give a 4-year average of just 5, suggesting that in 2006/2007 there was a 100% increase in fatal accidents in this industry sector.

Moreover, provisional figures by industry sector for the last full year (2007/08) show that this figure remained high in the Extraction and Utility Supply at 9.

Fatal injury rates vary across industry sectors

Whilst the total number of fatal injuries is an important measure, it is the rate of fatal injury which provides a better indicator of improvements or otherwise, across the industrial sectors. The fatal injury rates published by the HSE confirm that Agriculture and Construction have the highest five-year average rate to the end 06/07 at 9.7 and 3.6 deaths per 100,000 workers, respectively. Rates of fatal injury are expressed per 100,000 employees, self-employed, or workers.

Average rates of fatal injury per year for the five-year time period 02/03 to 06/07

Main Industry
Agricul-
ture
Extraction and Utility Supply
Manufac-
turing
Con-struction
Services
All Industries
Employees
5.7 (6.1) 3.5 (6.3) 1.2 (1.2) 4.4 (4.4) 0.3 (0.4) 0.7 (0.7)
Self employed
14.8 (11.7) - (-) 1.1 (0.4) 2.3 (3.1) 0.3 (0.3) 1.4 (1.4)
All Workers
9.7 (8.6) 3.4 (6.0) 1.2 (1.2) 3.6 (3.9) 0.3 (0.4) 0.8 (0.8)
(The finalised figure for 06/07 is shown in brackets)

Rates of fatal injury - Twelve months 2007/08p (1/04/2007 to 31/03/2008)

Main Industry
Agricul-
ture
Extraction and Utility Supply
Manu-
facturing
Construc-tion
Services
All Industries
Employees
8.8 5.5 1.2 4.3 0.3 0.7
Self employed
10.9 - 0.4 2.1 0.5 1.2
All Workers
9.7 5.1 1.1 3.4 0.3 0.8

However, the finalised rates for the twelve-months of 06/07 and the provisional rate for 07/08 confirm that the Extraction and Utility Supply sector has experienced a significant increase in the rate at 6.0 and 5.1 respectively.

UK fatal injuries figures lowest in the EU

When compared to other EU countries, the UK rate for fatal injuries is consistently one of the lowest in Europe over a number of years.

The UK has now had the lowest fatal injury rate over a five-year period when compared to the five largest EU countries.

For more information on the latest figures on fatal injury statistics, please visit the HSE website at http://www.hse.gov.uk/statistics/fatal3m.htm.

Fatal injury compensation claims

Whilst it is always good news that the number of fatal accidents is in decline, every single death is a tragic loss to the deceased’s family and can have far reaching consequences, both emotionally and financially.

if you have lost a loved one in a fatal accident through no fault of their own, Clear Answers has the experience in dealing with serious accidents and fatal injuries. Whether an accident at work was due to negligence on the part of an employer, a breach of statutory duty , or some other cause, Clear Answers’ lawyers have teams of specialists waiting to help you, should you decide to instruct us to represent you in your accident compensation claim.

If you select Clear Answers to represent you in your claim, we will be happy to provide you with expert legal advice, and our specialist personal injury lawyers will talk you through the claims process in plain English. They will be happy to answer any questions you may have regarding your accident claim.

Please ring us on 0800 783 9019 and speak to one of our advisers to see if you have a valid claim for accident compensation. Alternatively, if you prefer to complete one of our online compensation claim forms, a representative will contact you as quickly as possible.

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