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144 Workers Killed in 2017/18

Date: Tue 24th July 2018

The HSE have released their annual report on fatal workplace injuries. The headline statistic is that workplace fatalities have risen from 135 in 2016/17 to 144 in 2017/18. This still represents a drastic drop from a decade ago, when the number of fatalities was 233. 

The HSE have attributed the rise to a “natural variation in figures”, explaining that in statistical terms figures have remained broadly level for the last five years – averaging at 141 per year.


Unsurprisingly the largest number of deaths was in the construction sector, which accounted for 38 of the 144 deaths (26%). This was closely followed by the agricultural sector, which accounted for 29 deaths (20%).

The Bradley Group’s General Manager Alex Menzies commented on the release of the figures. “It was certainly disheartening to see that workplace fatalities have risen this year. Whilst, I completely understand the HSE’s point that the rise can be attributed to a natural variation, that will be of little comfort to those who have lost a friend or loved one as a result of a workplace accident. Coming from a health and safety perspective, I definitely feel very strongly that 144 workplace fatalities is 144 too many.”

“35 of the deaths were as a result of falls from height,” Alex continued. “That is almost a quarter. How many of these could have been avoided with adequate training, planning and the use of the correct type of equipment for the task being undertaken? Employers have both a legal and a moral responsibility to ensure that they are doing all that they can to protect their staff and that their staff are all properly trained. They also need to ensure that they have access to competent and appropriate Health and Safety advice.”

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