New fatal injuries data released
According to figures published earlier this month, 135 workers lost their lives due to work-related incidents in Great Britain in 2022/23. The report by HSE breaks down the industries, unveiling that the construction industry witnessed the most deaths. There were 45 reported fatalities in construction, followed by agriculture, forestry, and fishing with 21 deaths.
The report covers incidents between April 2022 and March 2023. It indicates that the total number of worker deaths has increased from the previous year but remains consistent with pre-pandemic levels. The data in the report also unveils the three most common causes of fatal injuries: falls from height, being struck by a moving object, and being hit by a moving vehicle.
Although these figures indicate that the UK remains one of the safest countries to work in, there's still room for improvement. Just one life lost is a tragedy, and it is essential to prioritise safety. As emphasised by HSE's CEO, Sarah Albon, "Our mission is to protect people and places, and we remain committed to maintaining safe workplaces and holding employers to account for their actions”.
The recent release of fatal injuries data is a stark reminder of the need to focus the spotlight on safeguarding employee safety. For employers, this means providing high-quality PPE to workers to protect their well-being and prevent accidents that could lead to tragedy. Those in management roles must ensure that their workers are equipped with the right PPE for their specific job roles and that it is maintained in optimal condition, and any worn-out uniform should be swiftly replaced.
For instance, workers in industries such as the industrial industry and rail industry should be provided with arc protection jackets to protect them from burns or serious injuries resulting from arc flashes. Additionally, clothing such as anti-acid trousers and antistatic jackets protect workers against chemical burns and electrostatic charges respectively. The provision of proper PPE helps to ensure the risk of work-related injuries and fatalities are mitigated.
However, it's also important that workers themselves play their part by adhering to safety protocols and using PPE correctly. Regular training and education on workplace safety should be provided to all employees to reinforce the importance of the correct PPE usage. By encouraging a culture of safety and investing in high-quality PPE, employers can make significant strides in keeping employees safe, reducing workplace fatalities and ensuring that the UK continues to be a safe place to work.