This week the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) published data surrounding the number of workplace fatalities in the UK for 2020-2021.
Sadly, 142 workers were killed because of workplace activities during the year. Whilst this is less than the previous year it is above average for the past five years and for the families, friends and colleagues each death is an unnecessary tragedy.
There were 39 deaths in the construction industry, where the rate of fatal injuries is four times that of the national average.
In manufacturing the rate is 1.5 times the national average and 20 workers were killed.
Falls from height, being struck by moving objects and moving vehicles remain the three most common causes and accounted for more than half of these fatal accidents.
It is therefore, no surprise that when we review the findings of the site safety evaluations we carry out every month, that work at height is consistently the most common failing observed. Whether it is unsafe scaffolds, incomplete mobile towers, missing guardrails or misused ladders, any one of these issues could result in a fall and the death or injury of a worker.
That is why it is imperative that employers make sure that they plan this dangerous work properly, that they provide the correct equipment and training for the workers, that they check that the work is being carried out safely and put it right where it isn’t.
This “plan-do-check-act” model is the basis for all good safety management systems.
HSE have also provided a breakdown as to the age and employment status. The report found that 30% of fatal accidents involved those over 60, whilst 62% of accidents involved employees and 38% self-employed workers.
There were also 60 members of the public killed due to workplace accidents.
As THSP approaches our 30th year in business, we reflect that when we started the number of deaths was in excess of 350, but despite this reduction we believe that any death is unacceptable, and we will continue to work with our customers towards a target of zero.