A total of 147 workers were killed at work in Great Britain in 2018/19. Although this represents an increase of 6 fatalities from 2017/18, it is possible that this change can be explained by natural variation in the figures. In statistical terms the number of fatalities has remained broadly level in recent years – the average annual number of workers killed at work over the five years 2014/15-2018/19 is 142.
Construction and Agriculture, forestry and fishing tend to come out worst as they account for the greatest number of fatalities each year.
Agriculture, forestry and fishing and Waste and recycling account for 32 fatalities, with a rate of injury some 18 times and 17 times as high as the average across all industries respectively.
The number of fatal injuries to workers in Construction in 2018/19 is 30, which is the lowest number on record.
The number of fatal injuries in Manufacturing (26) has fluctuated over the last five years, and the number in 2018/19 is up on the low of 15 in 2017/18.
Around three-quarters of fatal injuries in both 2018/19 were accounted for by just five different accident kinds. Falls from a height, being struck by a moving vehicle and being struck by a moving, including flying or falling, object continue as the three main causes of fatal injury. The remaining two being trapped by something collapsing or overturning and contact with moving machinery.
Injuries by Gender and Age
Fatal injuries to workers are predominately to male workers. In 2018/19, 139 (95%) of all worker fatalities were to male workers, a similar proportion to earlier years. In terms of age, 25% of fatal injuries in 2018/19 were to workers aged 60 and over, even though such workers made up only around 10% of the workforce.
Injury Comparison with Other Countries
The UK consistently has one of the lowest rates of fatal injury across the EU.
In 2016 the standardised rate, at 0.53 per 100,000 employees, was one of the lowest of all European countries and compares favourably with other large economies such as France, Germany, Italy, Spain and Poland.
Similarly, the UK three-year average rate for 2013-2015 (0.52 per 100,000 employees) was the lowest of all EU member states.