HSE Fatality Figures Released: The Importance of Workplace Injury Prevention
With HSE recently releasing their annual workplace fatality figures, the team here at Health & Safety Training felt this was a good opportunity to reflect on how far we’ve come in terms of reducing workplace fatalities, and what we can do to continue emphasising the importance of workplace injury prevention.
The positive impact of health and safety training
Between 2018 and 2019, 147 workers were killed in fatal accidents. Now, while that number seems high, some context might change your perspective.
As you can see, over the course of 50 years, the number of fatal workplace accidents has reduced significantly. That is, in 2019, we now experience less than a third of the fatal accidents that we did in 1981 – a demonstration of our society’s commitment to health and safety that we should all be proud of.
However, the graph also tells us something else: over the past five years, the number of fatalities has plateaued.
While chance and randomness dictate that we won’t be able to get this annual figure to fall to zero, it’s still worth analysing the statistics to see if there’s something pertinent to focus on.
Workplace injury prevention for working at height
As you can see from the above chart, nearly a third of all fatal workplace accidents in the UK during 2018/19 were caused by falls from height.
In industries such as construction and forestry, working at height is, unfortunately, almost inevitable at some point, and carries with it numerous dangers. To help raise awareness of this problem, and the workplace injury prevention measures that can be taken, here are some tips to stay safe when working at height:
- Training: before you start working at height, it’s vital that you first receive adequate – preferably accredited – training. This way, you can be certain that you know how to use all of the necessary PPE, and how to stay sufficiently vigilant.
- Use the right PPE: while expensive, personal fall arrest systems (PFAs) can save lives. Some variants will include extra D-rings and even fireproof material, so if they fall within your budget, they could save lives.
- Use railings: passive protection is the easiest way to keep your workers safe, so ensuring that protective rails are installed where possible on site could make a huge difference.
- Understand fall distance: you can wear all of the protection in the world, but if it allows you to hit the lower level before the functions engage, then it’s all for nothing. That is, when using a safety lanyard, you need to make sure that you account for plenty of distance between the end of your lanyard and the floor itself to ensure that device has time to deploy.
Health & Safety Training Ltd is a leading provider of health and safety training courses and programmes throughout the North of England. With nearly 20 years of experience curating and teaching a number of different courses, you can count on us to provide first-class training which will provide your team with vital knowledge. For more information about our services, please don’t hesitate to get in touch.
Contains public sector information published by the Health and Safety Executive and licensed under the Open Government Licence. Health and Safety Executive. (July, 2019). Workplace fatal injuries in Great Britain, 2019. Annual Statistics . p1-16.
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