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Construction considered the most dangerous profession in 2022 by HSE

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Annual statistics from the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) show that tradespeople are the most at-risk of suffering workplace and work-related fatal injuries in the UK for 2022.

About the report

The Health and Safety Executive published a report on July 6th 2022, which provided headline numbers on deaths resulting from work-related accidents. The statistics were taken from all accidents that were reportable from March 2021 to March 2022 under the Reporting of Injuries, Diseases, and Dangerous Occurrences Regulations (RIDDOR), to any of the main enforcing authorities for health and safety at work.

The numbers included in the report consider both fatal injuries to workers and to members of the public. Due to the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic on the UK populace, the report actively excludes statistics regarding fatal diseases, including Covid-19.

“Fatal injuries are thankfully rare events. There is a degree of chance and randomness to the annual count resulting in an element of natural variation from one year’s count to the next.

To allow for this natural variation, alongside figures for 2021/22, this report also presents the annual average estimate for five years (2017/18-2021/22), which reduces the effect of year-on-year fluctuations and gives a more stable current picture.”

Health and Safety Executive

Injuries by profession

HSE found that those who work in construction had the highest number of fatal injuries from 2021 to 2022, with 30 fatal injuries. The good news is that this statistic is significantly less than data collected from previous years, where 36 was found to be the annual average statistic for fatal injuries in the construction industry.

The industries next most likely to experience fatal injuries are those working in agriculture and manufacturing, with 22 fatal injuries each, and transportation and storage with 16 injuries within the year.

HSE also included statistics which indicate whether self-employed or employed workers are more likely to experience work-related incidents and injuries.

In construction, fatal injuries were experienced by 36% of self-employed tradespeople compared to 64% of employed tradespeople. However, self-employed agricultural and forestry workers (65%) were more likely to experience fatal injuries at work than their employed counterparts (35%).

Types of injuries

From 2021 to 2022, 29 workers died from a fall from a height, making it the most fatal accident kind. The next most common kinds of accidents to cause fatal injuries in the time period were being struck by moving vehicles, moving objects, and falling objects.

“Falls from a height, being struck by a moving vehicle and being struck by a moving, including flying or falling, object continue as the three main causes of fatal injury, between them accounting for over half of all fatal injuries each year since at least 2001/02.”

Health and Safety Executive

In addition,  HSE found that fatal workplace incidents are predominantly encountered by men. From 2021 to 22, 116 (94%) of all worker fatalities were to male workers. 24% of fatal injuries in 2021/22 were to workers aged 60 and over, “even though such workers made up only 11% of the workforce.”


Read the full report, ‘Workplace fatal injuries in Great Britain, 2022’ by the Health and Safety Executive here.
Do you disagree with the study? Or maybe you have a story to tell about workplace injuries? Get in touch and let us know.
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