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Most dangerous industries for employees revealed

11 February 2024

HEALTH AND safety experts at Horizon Platforms have analysed data to see which occupations and industries have the highest risk of worker injury. They also looked at the biggest causes of workplace injury.

Horizon Platforms used data provided by HSE to uncover who is at most risk from workplace injury. The data covers averages of injuries recorded for workers employed in the past year.

More data is available here: https://www.horizonplatforms.co.uk/blog/most-dangerous-industries-going-into-2024

The findings

The data showed that health and social work is the industry workers are most likely to become injured in. There were around 10,834 incidents of worker injuries within health and social care in the  last year of recorded data. Within health and social care, the biggest cause of injury is slips and falls, followed by acts of violence as the second biggest cause of injury.

Across all industries, carrying heavy items was the main cause of worker injury, emphasising the importance of proper health and safety training for lifting. The second biggest cause of workplace injury across all roles was slips and falls. Falling from heights was the biggest cause of fatal injury at work, additionally emphasising how key following safety procedures when at work is. Interestingly, managers and senior leaders were statistically more likely to fall victim to injury at work compared against their assistants or secretaries - however secretaries were more likely to take more days of sickness absence for injury versus their seniors.

Men were far more likely to be injured at work versus women, however women were more likely to endure illness at work. Looking at employment types showed most fatal injury affected employed staff members, a third of fatal injuries happened to self-employed workers.

Please see data tables below for reference:

What can workplaces do to reduce injury risk?

Malcolm Briggs, health and safety expert  at Horizon Platforms said, “There are many measures employers can put in place, firstly it is important to be up to date with recommended guidance within your specific industry. Do you offer workers the correct tools and PPE to maximise worker safety and review your health and safety protocols on a regular basis and make sure you are adhering to the latest guidance?

“For workers using machinery there must be proper training put in place beforehand to ensure they know how to operate specialist machinery. Ensure you provide up to date health and safety documentation within your workplace which is easily accessible for your employees. Proper safeguarding processes should also be in place to manage any risk to your workers health. If incidents do occur, you should have a clear process for reporting and documenting these.”

HSE - Labour Force Survey data, estimated incidence and rates of self-reported workplace non-fatal injury sustained in current or most recent job, for people working in the last 12 months Great Britain
* Cost of workplace illness or injury to the economy: