New HSE Report Reveals 135 Workplace Fatalities in 2022/23

The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) – Britain’s national regulator for workplace health and safety – has released its latest report on work-related fatal injuries for the year April 2022-March 2023.

This report provides a provisional summary of deaths resulting from workplace accidents that were recorded under the Reporting of Injuries, Diseases and Dangerous Occurrences Regulations (RIDDOR).

Sadly, the HSE’s latest figures show that 135 workers were killed in work-related accidents in 2022-23, representing an increase of 12 fatalities from 2021/22. The report also categorised the total number of fatal injuries by:

We’ve explored each of these areas in further detail, so keep reading to learn more about the report’s key findings.

Injuries by industry

Before going into the statistics, it’s important to note that there are two main metrics for measuring fatal injury numbers: the absolute count and the fatal injury rate (per 100,000 workers).

When looking at the absolute count for employees killed in workplace accidents, construction is the industry that comes off worst. In 2022/23, this sector suffered 45 workplace fatalities, compared to its annual average of 37 over the last five-year period.

The HSE stated that the industries affected by workplace fatalities has remained largely the same, with around 82% of fatal injuries taking place in construction and:

  • Agriculture, forestry and fishing – 21 fatalities
  • Manufacturing – 15 fatalities
  • Transportation and storage – 15 fatalities
  • Wholesale, retail, motor repair; accommodation and food services – 15 fatalities

But when you take into account the rate of fatal injuries per 100,000 workers, it is the agriculture, forestry and fishing industry that has suffered the most. In 2022/23, the fatal injury rate in this sector was 7.87 – 21 times higher than the all-industry average.

Injuries by accident kind

Falls from height continue to be the leading cause of fatal injuries in Great Britain, accounting for 30% of work-related deaths in 2022/23 – followed by:

  • Employees struck by moving, flying or falling object – 29 fatalities
  • Employees struck by moving vehicles – 20 fatalities
  • Being trapped by something collapsing – 12 fatalities
  • Contact with moving machinery – 9 fatalities

These figures represent a similar picture to previous years, with 80% of fatal injuries over the last five-year period being attributed to the same five accident types.

Injuries by gender and age

Similarly to previous years, male workers continue to be the most impacted by fatal injuries at work – the HSE’s report shows that 129 (96%) of all workplace fatalities were men in 2022/23.

And in terms of age groups, 99 fatal injuries in 2022/23 affected workers aged 16-59, while 33 fatalities were employees over 60 (this does not include three deaths where the individuals’ ages were unknown).

It’s important to consider when looking at these statistics that over-60s make up only 11% of the workforce. This means that when you look at the rate of fatal injuries per 100,000 workers, it appears that the risk of fatal injury increases with age.

Injuries by employment status

As well as looking at fatal injuries by industry, the HSE has also looked at the impact that being self-employed within one of these sectors can have. And the figures show that those who are self-employed are significantly more likely to suffer a fatal injury.

Just one example is the agriculture, forestry and fishing industry. Over the five-year period of 2018/19-2022/23, self-employed workers made up 64% of fatalities within this sector. Similarly, in the administrative and support services industry, those who were self-employed accounted for 56% of fatalities.

Overall, the fatal injury rate for self-employed workers over the last five years is around three times the employee rate (referring to those who are employed by a company). This varies by industry, but it is clear to see that there is generally a much higher risk for self-employed individuals, who only make up 15% of the country’s workforce.

Injuries by country and region within Great Britain

The HSE has also divided the total number of fatal injuries in 2022/23 into geographical areas, including:

  • Scotland – 26 fatalities
  • Wales – 15 fatalities
  • East Midlands – 15 fatalities
  • North West England – 13 fatalities
  • South West England – 12 fatalities
  • South East England – 12 fatalities
  • East of England – 12 fatalities
  • West Midlands – 11 fatalities
  • Yorkshire and the Humber – 7 fatalities
  • North East England – 4 fatalities

In terms of fatal injury rates, England has maintained a lower rate than Scotland and Wales. But it is worth considering that these rates could be influenced by the types of industries and occupations within each country.

For instance, there are a greater proportion of people working in lower risk jobs in England than there are in Scotland and Wales, according to the HSE. It is important to bear this in mind when looking at the rates for each country and region.

What to do if your loved one has been fatally injured at work

It is devastating when someone close to you dies. And it can be made even worse if your loved one’s death was caused by the negligence of another individual or organisation.

Taking legal action won’t change what happened, or make up for your loss. But it could help you to get a sense of justice and closure.

If you’re considering making a fatal injury claim, our solicitors could help you. We offer a free initial consultation where our friendly and compassionate advisors will listen to the details of your situation and let you know if you have a case.

To find out more, get in touch with us on the number at the top of the screen or start your enquiry online.


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