Work related fatal injuries in manufacturing nearly doubled in 2018 / 19 compared to the previous 12 months according to annual figures released by the Health & Safety Executive.
Provisional data shows that, across all sectors, 147 workers were killed between April 2018 and March 2019, of which 26 were in manufacturing.
This figure – which has fluctuated over the last five years – marks an increase on the annual average of 21 work related manufacturing deaths recorded since 2014 / 15, and is significantly up on last year’s figure of 15.
It also represents a rate of fatal injuries per 100,000 workers of 0.92 compared to the five year average of 0.73, which is around 1.5 to two times the average rate across all industries.
The three most common causes of fatal injuries across all sectors continue to be workers falling from height (40), being struck by a moving vehicle (30) and being struck by a moving object (16). Contact with moving machinery accounted for 14 deaths last year.
The latest figures also highlight the risks to older workers, with a quarter of fatal injuries last year involving those aged 60 or over, even though this group made up only around 10% of the workforce.
Commenting on the figures, Health & Safety Executive’s chair Martin Temple said: “Despite the UK’s world leading position in health and safety, we cannot become complacent as we seek to fulfil our mission in preventing injury, ill health and death at work.”
He added: “Whatever the sector, we should remember that any change in numbers provides little comfort to the family, friends and colleagues of the 147 whose lives were cut short this year while doing their job.”
The agriculture, forestry and fishing, and construction sectors continue to account for the largest share of fatal injuries to workers (32 and 30 deaths respectively in 2018 / 19).
Meanwhile agriculture, forestry and fishing and waste and recycling are the worst affected sectors when it comes to rates of fatal injury, which are 18 and 17 times as high as the average across all industries respectively.