A total of 142 workers were killed at work in Great Britain in 2020/21. This represents an increase of 29 fatalities from 2019/20, 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 2016/17-2020/21 is 136.
The figures released by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) relate to workplace incidents. They do not include deaths arising from occupational exposure to disease, including Covid-19.
The three most common causes of fatal injuries continue to be workers falling from height (35), being struck by a moving vehicle (25) and being struck by a moving object (17), accounting for more than half of all fatalities in 2020/21.
According to self-reports from a Labour Force Survey in 2020/21 441,000 workers sustained a non-fatal injury. In addition to these figures 51,211 non-fatal injuries were reported by employers under RIDDOR in 2020/21.
Injuries by age
These figures continue to highlight the risks to older workers with around 30 per cent of fatal injuries in 2020/21 involving workers aged 60 or over, even though such workers only make up around 11 per cent of the workforce.
In addition, members of the public continue to be killed in connection with work-related incidents. In 2020/21, 60 members of the public were killed as a result of a work-related incident.
Injury comparison with other countries
Over the past 20 years there has been a long-term reduction in the number of workplace fatalities, demonstrating that Great Britain is one of the safest places to work in the world.
In 2020/21 the standardised rate, at 0.61 per 100,000 employees, was one of the lowest of all European countries and compares favourably with other large economies such as France, Italy, Spain and Poland.
Workers suffering from COVID-19 in 2020/21, which they believe may have been from exposure to coronavirus at work (new or long-standing) numbered 93,000. Around half of those suffering were in human health and social work activities.
Workers suffering from a work-related illness caused or made worse by the effects of the coronavirus pandemic (new or long-standing) in 2020/21 was 645,000. Around 20% of those suffering were in human health and social work activities. This total excludes the 93,000 workers in the first statistic.
Work-related stress, depression, or anxiety
822,000 workers reported suffering from work-related stress, depression or anxiety (new or long-standing) in 2020/21, with 451,000 being newly reported within the 2020/21 time period.
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