Waste Sector Deaths Average Seven Each Year – HSE

health-and-safetyThe Health and Safety Executive (HSE) has published its provisional annual data for work-related fatal accidents in the UK.

The figures show six fatal injuries to workers in waste and recycling compared to the five-year average of seven. This is subject to considerable yearly fluctuation, the HSE says.

The data shows the long term trend has seen the overall rate of fatalities in the UK workplace more than halve over the last 20 years.

However, overall provisional figures indicate that 144 people were killed while at work in 2015/2016 – up from 142 in 2014/5.

The Health and Safety Executive has called on all sectors to learn lessons to ensure workers return home safe from work.

Martin Temple, HSE Chair – “One death at work or life needlessly shortened, is one too many and behind every statistic lies a real story of loss and heartbreak and families left to grieve”

Martin Temple, HSE Chair said: “One death at work or life needlessly shortened, is one too many and behind every statistic lies a real story of loss and heartbreak and families left to grieve.

“Britain has one of the best health and safety systems in the world, but we should always be looking to improve and to prevent incidents that cost lives.

“This year HSE travelled the country asking industry representatives, employers, unions, workers and others what they could do to help GB work well. The response was hugely encouraging and I would like to ask people to deliver on the commitments made, that will help keep Britain’s workers alive.”

The new figures show the rate of fatal injuries in key industrial sectors:

  • Forty three workers died in construction, the same as the average for the previous five years.
  • In agriculture there were 27 deaths (compared to the five-year average of 32).
  • In manufacturing there were 27 deaths (compared to five-year average 22), but this figure includes three incidents that resulted in a total of eight deaths.
  • There were six fatal injuries to workers in waste and recycling, compared to the five-year average of seven, but subject to considerable yearly fluctuation.

The statistics again confirm the UK to be one of the safest places to work in Europe, having one of the lowest rates of fatal injuries to workers in leading industrial nations.

A more detailed assessment of the data will be provided as part of the annual Health and Safety Statistics release in early November.

The data was released as police confirmed yesterday that five fatalities had occurred at a recycling site.

Officers were called by West Midlands Ambulance Service at 8.45am yesterday (7 July) to Hawkeswood Metal in Aston Church Road to reports that a wall had collapsed.

Emergency services attended but the men could not be saved and they were pronounced dead at the scene. Another man has been taken to hospital with serious leg injuries.

An investigation into what happened is now underway. The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) has been notified and are assisting officers at the scene.

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