HSE releases annual workplace fatality figures

HSE releases annual workplace fatality figures

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The HSE published its fatalities statistics yesterday. They can be found at http://press.hse.gov.uk/2018/hse-releases-annual-workplace-fatality-figures-2/

They show a slight increase to 144 (up from 135 last year). One of the most striking figures was that 40 per cent of fatal injuries in 2017/18 were to workers aged 60 or over, even though such workers made up only around 10 per cent of the workforce.

Agriculture had a fatality rate 18 times that of the average and the figure for waste and recycling was 16 times the rate of other industries. Construction continued to have the highest number of fatalities.

The annual mesothelioma figures were also released. Once again they show an increase. In 2016 there were 2595 deaths. Up from 2549 the year before. The report accepts that the figure is not likely to come down during this decade.

Previous estimates from the HSE on mesothelioma deaths said that they were going to peak in 2010 at 1,500 a year or, when that did not happen they estimated they would peak at “1950 to 2450 deaths sometime between 2011 to 2015”.

The new statistics show that men who worked in the building industry are now among those most likely to develop mesothelioma. Given the high levels of exposure still taking place, especially during refurbishment, it is clear that the danger is not going to disappear unless the cause is removed.