The long term trend has seen the rate of fatalities more than halve over the last 20 years.

In 2015-16, 144 people were killed while at work at a rate of 0.46 per 100,000 workers. This rate was the same for 2014-15 and marginally above the rate of 0.45 for 2013-2014 when 136 workers died.

The HSE has called on all sectors to learn lessons to ensure workers’ safety. 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.

There were also 103 members of the public fatally injured in accidents connected to work in 2015/16, of which 36 (35%) related to incidents occurring on railways.

Comparisons of fatal injuries by country or region are based on where the accident occurred. In 2015/16 the highest fatal injury rates across all countries and regions were Wales (0.93 per 100,000 workers); Scotland (0.60); and Yorkshire and the Humber (0.58). Due to the relatively small numbers and to reduce some of the yearly fluctuation, when averaged across a five-year time period to 2014/15 those regions with the highest fatal injury rates were also Wales (0.81), Scotland (0.73) and Yorkshire and the Humber (0.70).

The statistics do not include the three men who died in the collapse of the Didcot Power Station in February 2016, the last of the three bodies being identified on 9 September 2016.