HSE 2016/2017 statistics reveal decline in fatalities

The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) has released annual figures for work-related deaths in 2016/17, including the number of people known to have died from mesothelioma, the asbestos-related cancer.

The provisional annual data revealed that:

  • 137 people were killed at work between April 2016 and March 2017 – the second lowest total on records.
  • There were 2,542 deaths from mesothelioma in 2015, which is largely unchanged from the 2,519 in 2014.

The decrease in fatal accidents is encouraging and reflects a long-term downward trend, which has seen the number of fatalities at work halve in the past 20 years.

In the reporting period 92 members of the public were involved in fatal accidents due to work-related activities, with almost half of these occurring on railways.

The construction sector has the highest number of fatalities: 30 in total. However, it’s worth noting that, given the number of workers in the industry, this equates to four times the average across all industries. This figure is also the lowest number of records, which is positive news.

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