Decrease in Workplace Fatalities According to the HSE

The number of fatalities in the workplace have decreased according to the annual figures released by the Health and Safety Executive (“HSE”).

The statistics show that 111 workers died as a result of injuries sustained at work between April 2019 and March 2020 which is a decrease of 38 on the previous year.  This amounts to 0.34 deaths per 100,000 workers and is the lowest year on record. However, it is anticipated that the slowing down of the economy due to Covid-19 in the final two months of the year impacted these numbers.

It should be noted that the stats do not include deaths from occupational disease and therefore deaths caused by Covid-19 will not feature in future annual statistics.

Some of the key findings were:

  • 40 fatal injuries to construction workers;
  • 20 fatal injuries to agricultural, forestry and fishing workers
  • 5 fatal injuries to waste and recycling workers
  • Most common causes of fatal injuries were: (i) workers falling from height (29); (ii) workers being struck by a moving vehicle (20); and (iii) workers being struck by a moving object (18)
  • 27% of fatal injuries were to workers aged 60 or over. This is an interesting stat as workers aged 60 or over make up only around 10% of the national workforce
  • 51 members of the public were killed as a result of a work-connected accident

Sarah Albon, Chief Executive of HSE commented:

“No one should be hurt or killed by the work they do.  In these extraordinary times, we have seen many workers risking their lives to help others during the coronavirus outbreak. Although these statistics are not a reflection on Covid-19 related loss of life, it is a pertinent time to reflect.”

Employers have a legal duty to ensure that their employees are safe in the workplace.  With businesses reopening across the country as lockdown restrictions ease it certainly is a “pertinent time to reflect” on the duties incumbent upon employers particularly in light of Covid-19. Businesses will require to closely monitor the advice from the Scottish Government and industry bodies when reopening to ensure they are taking all the necessary precautions to protect employees.

At Walker Laird our personal injury lawyers in Glasgow and Paisley regularly act for clients who have suffered accidents at work as well as acting for families in claims where a loved one has died due to a fatal accident.

Our personal injury lawyers in Glasgow and Paisley offer funding on a No Win No Fee basis.  Get in touch today by calling 0141 887 5271 or by completing our online enquiry form and a member of our team will be in touch.