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Work fatalities reduction “no cause for celebration”, says IOSH

13 July 2022

THE INSTITUTION of Occupational Safety and Health (IOSH) calls on businesses to “leave no stone unturned” in their drive to prevent workplace accidents.

It comes as new figures reveal that 123 people suffered a fatal injury at work in Great Britain in the 12-month period until 31 March this year.

While this marks a reduction of 22 from the previous year, IOSH believes more needs to be done to prevent fatalities at work and is calling on businesses to review their health and safety practices.

Ruth Wilkinson, head of health and safety at IOSH said, “When seeking to protect workers and prevent harm, this reduction in the number of workplace fatal injuries is no cause for celebration. The bare fact is that 123 people lost their life in 2021-22 because of a workplace accident, and we can’t forget the unimaginable pain and impact caused to their loved ones, friends and colleagues.

“This is not acceptable and we are calling on businesses to review how they protect their workforce, to ensure they leave no stone unturned in their efforts to prevent workplace accidents, injuries and ill health.”

The new figures were published by the Health and Safety Executive. Among the key findings are:

  • The worst-affected industries were construction (30 deaths), agriculture, forestry and fishing (22) and manufacturing (22)
  • Falls from height was the biggest cause (29 deaths), with being struck by a moving vehicle next (23)
  • About a quarter of deaths (29) were to workers aged 60 and over, even though they make up only 11% of the workforce
  • A third (33%) of those who died were self-employed even though such workers make up only 16% of the workforce

Ruth added, “One death at work is one too many. Every working person should expect they can carry out their duties in a safe and healthy way and in a safe and healthy working environment.”