British Safety Council digs further as fatality statistics tell a grim story

Neal Stone
Director Of Policy and Communications at British Safety Council
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Post date: Friday, 6th July 2012

The British Safety Council has, in response to the official 2011/12 worker fatality statistics released by the Health and Safety Executive, expressed serious concern that the reduction in the number of deaths at work has stalled over the last two years.  The number of deaths caused by fatal injury in the last two statistical years – 175 in 2010/11 and 173 in 2011/12 – was an increase from the historically low figure of 147 deaths in 2009/10.


While the number of deaths in Britain resulting from workplace injury has halved over the last 20 years, it is a serious concern that the reduction in both the number and incidence of deaths has stalled over the last two years.

The fatal injuries that occurred in 2011/12 are a tragedy and a stark reminder that the health and safety regulatory framework is a fundamental protection to help keep workers healthy and safe. We must remember those 173 workers and the families and friends they left behind.

Nor should we forget the thousands of other people who died in 2011/12 as a result of work-related diseases and work-related road traffic accidents.  

We must better understand the causes of these deaths and why they were not prevented. 

We owe that to future generations of workers.


National figures:

  • 130 fatal injuries in England were recorded - a rate of 0.5 deaths per 100,000 workers, compared to an average of 157 deaths in the past five years and a decrease from the 146 deaths (and rate of 0.6) recorded in 2010/11.
  • 20 fatal injuries in Scotland were recorded - a rate of 0.8 deaths per 100,000 workers, compared to an average of 25 deaths in the past five years and an increase from the 14 deaths (and rate of 0.5) recorded in 2010/11.
  • 18 fatal injuries in Wales were recorded - a rate of 1.4 deaths per 100,000 workers, compared to an average of 11 deaths in the past five years and an increase from the 11 deaths (and rate of 0.8) recorded in 2010/11.

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