HSE publishes its annual report into fatal injuries to workers

16 October 2023

Shoosmiths’ Serious Injury act on behalf of many claimants who have sustained injuries in the workplace, and note with interest the results of a Health and Safety Executive (HSE) report recording the number of work-related deaths.

We act for workers who have been injured or killed as a result of a workplace incident. One such case was representing the family of a man (Mr X) who had fallen off a ladder whilst working on a roof, sustaining a severe traumatic brain injury. Despite being taken from the scene by air ambulance, he died of his injuries a few days later. Annual figures published in the HSE report, recorded a total 135 work-related deaths in Great Britain last year (figures for 2022-23). 

The highest number of fatal accidents was in construction (45 deaths), more than twice as many as agriculture, forestry and fishing which accounted for 21 deaths. However, if you compare the rate of fatal injuries per 100,000 workers, agriculture, forestry and fishing were the most dangerous of all the main industrial sectors, followed by waste and recycling. 

Of the 135 deaths, the most common cause was falls from height (40), being struck by a moving object (29) and being hit by a moving vehicle (20).

In the case of Mr X, Serious Injury solicitor, Sarah Cunliffe went on to represent the  family at  inquest and advises ‘Whilst legal representation at an inquest isn’t necessary, the family did not feel that they could do this alone. I was able at the inquest to get answers to some of the questions which the family had which assisted them to move forward.’
Shoosmiths’ SI’s specialist team were subsequently able to secure compensation from the defendant for the family.

In addition to fatal injuries to workers, the statistics reveal that a further 68 members of the public were killed last year as a result of a work-related incident.

Sarah Cunliffe added:

“Fatalities in the workplace are usually the result of a lack of safety equipment, inadequate training, faulty and badly maintained machinery, or an absence of health and safety procedures. An employer has a duty of care to workers to provide a safe environment in which to work and to ensure the risk of an accident happening is as low as possible.  

“They should also have insurance in place to cover accidents in the workplace. Most employers fulfil these legal obligations, but some do not.

“Any fatal injury at work is a tragedy for a family that is left to pick up the pieces and try to get on with their lives, often without the person who was their main source of income.”

To read the HSE’s report in more detail, visit their website: Statistics - Work-related fatal injuries in Great Britain (hse.gov.uk).



This information is for educational purposes only and does not constitute legal advice. It is recommended that specific professional advice is sought before acting on any of the information given. © Shoosmiths LLP 2024

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