HSE Reveals 138 Workplace Fatalities in Last Year

The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) – the national regulator in Britain for workplace health and safety – has released its latest report on work-related fatal injuries for the year April 2023-March 2024.

This report offers a summary of the deaths caused by workplace accidents as recorded under the Reporting of Injuries, Diseases and Dangerous Occurrences Regulations (RIDDOR).

Sadly, the HSE’s most recent figures show that 138 people were killed in work-related accidents in 2023/24, which represents an increase of two fatalities from the previous year.

Here, we’ve set out the report’s key findings by:

Keep reading to find out more.

Injuries by industry

The HSE uses two main metrics for measuring fatal injury numbers: the absolute count and the fatal injury rate per 100,000 workers.

When considering the most employees killed in workplace accidents, construction has remained the most affected industry. In 2023/24, 51 construction workers were fatally injured at work – representing an increase of four from the previous year’s total.

Although the number of fatalities fluctuates each year, the average number of fatal injuries in construction has increased significantly in the last two years when compared to the pre-pandemic period (2016/17-2018/19).

Other industries reporting fatal injuries include:

  • Agriculture, forestry and fishing – 23 fatalities
  • Manufacturing – 16 fatalities
  • Transportation and storage – 11 fatalities
  • Wholesale, retail, motor repair; accommodation and food services – 9 fatalities

Despite this, when you take into account the rate of fatal injuries per 100,000 workers, it is the agriculture, fishing and forestry sector that comes off worst. In 2023/24, the rate of fatal injuries in this industry was 7.51 – 21 times higher than the all-industry rate.

Injuries by accident kind

The HSE’s latest report shows that falls from a height continue to be the leading cause of work-related fatalities. In 2023/24, this accounted for 36% of all worker deaths – followed by:

  • Employees struck by moving vehicles – 25 fatalities
  • Employees struck by a moving object – 20 fatalities
  • Being trapped by something collapsing – 15 fatalities
  • Contact with moving machinery – 8 fatalities

These figures are broadly similar to those presented in the five-year period 2019/20-2023/24, with 86% of all fatal injuries being caused by just five different accident types.

Injuries by gender and age

Male workers continue to be the most affected by fatal injuries in the workplace, accounting for 95% (131) of all work-related fatalities.

And in terms of age groups, there were 89 fatal injuries to workers aged 16-59 in 2023/24, while 45 workers aged 60 and over suffered fatalities.

It’s also important to bear in mind that over-60s only make up 11% of the workforce. This means that you when you consider the rate of fatal injuries per 100,000 workers, it seems that the risk of fatal injury increases with age.

Injuries by employment status

Self-employed workers continue to be at a greater risk for fatal injuries than those who are employed, according to the HSE’s latest report.

The most extreme example of this is within the agriculture, forestry and fishing industry. Over the five-year period 2019/20-2023/24, more than half of fatal injuries in this sector were to self-employed workers.

In total, the fatal injury rate for self-employed workers over the last five years is around three times more than that of the employee rate (referring to people who are employed by a company). And while this varies by industry, it’s clear to see that there is generally a much higher risk to those who work for themselves.

Injuries by country and region within Great Britain

The number of workplace fatalities reported in 2023/24 also varies by country and region:

  • North West England – 22 fatalities
  • South East England – 19 fatalities
  • Scotland – 18 fatalities
  • Yorkshire and the Humber – 13 fatalities
  • South West England – 13 fatalities
  • West Midlands – 10 fatalities
  • East Midlands – 10 fatalities
  • East of England – 9 fatalities
  • Wales – 7 fatalities
  • North East England – 1 fatality

England has maintained a lower fatality rate per 100,000 workers than both Scotland and Wales. But it is worth bearing in mind that a greater proportion of people in England work in lower risk jobs, which has an influence on injury rates.

What you should do if your loved one is fatally injured at work

It’s always devastating when someone close to you passes away. But if your loved one’s death was caused by the negligence of an individual or organisation, it may become even harder to come to terms with the loss.

We know that taking legal action won’t change what’s happened. But it could help you to get a sense of justice and closure.

If you’re thinking about making a fatal injury claim, our experienced solicitors could help you. We offer a free initial chat where our compassionate advisors will listen to the details of what happened and let you know if you have a case for compensation.

To learn more, get in touch with us by calling the number at the top of the screen or filling in our quick and easy online enquiry form.


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