17th December 2013
Regularly reported injury compensation cases tend to show that a higher than average number of accident claims are frequently made for incidents, fatal and non-fatal, occurring in the same occupational sectors.
Newly released figures from the Health and Safety Executive (HSE), once again, also show that industries with the highest workplace fatalities were, in descending order: Services, Construction, Agriculture, Manufacturing and Recycling.
The statistics for the number of fatal injuries reported April - December 2012 under the Reporting of Injuries, Diseases and Dangerous Occurrences Regulations (RIDDOR) are still only provisional and exclude various categories.
Between 2011/12, a total of 173 fatalities were reported compared to the Apr/Dec 2012 figure of 192 fatalities. The current provisional figures appear to indicate hardly any change in the “high fatality” sectors.
Construction, Agriculture and Waste Recycling...
While Construction suffered 37 deaths Apr/Dec 2012, down from 49 in 2011/12, Agriculture rose from 25 to 33 fatalities. Waste and Recycling saw a doubling of fatal accidents from 5 deaths in 2011/12 to 10 in the same 8 month period in 2012.
The high injury and fatality rates in the Construction, Agriculture and Waste industries prompted HSE to conduct month long “unannounced site” inspections in February 2013. They also warned the Waste industries to “renew efforts to improve worker safety”, following a surge in fatalities as nine workers lost their lives between June and September 2012, half of which took place in skip hire and waste transfer sites.
RIDDOR figures for major accident injuries in Waste Collection, treatment and disposal are also up from 482 in 2010/11 to 495 in 2011/12. More than a third were caused by slip and trips. Over a five year period (2004 -2012) there was an estimated number of nearly 400 deaths.
HSE have previously stated that “Agriculture has one of the worst fatal accident and occupational ill-health records of any major employment sector – including construction.” Between 1999 and 2009, a total of 436 fatal injuries were caused by accidents in agricultural workplaces, more than a quarter caused by moving vehicles and nearly 1 in 5 falling from height plus a similar number hit by moving objects.
In the construction sector, the most common type of workplace accident still involves slips or trips (40 per cent), and falls from a height (more than 20 per cent).
Despite nearly a 10 per cent reduction in reported serious injuries from 24, 726 to 22,433 between 2010/11 and 2011/12, a total of 111,164 reported non-fatal injuries and 49 fatalities were still reported.
HSE say that figures for the entire 2012 period will not be released until July 2013, which they suggest will likely show a reduction in overall accidents and injuries.
Much will depend on whether the main offending industries have taken heed of HSE warnings and improved their risk assessments and safe working procedures.