HM Insights

Rise in work-related fatalities shows need for health and safety enforcement

In June 2017 the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) released its annual figures for work-related fatalities showing that the UK-wide reduction in workplace fatal accidents in the UK has not been the case for Scotland.

Health Safety Accident Work Workplace Personal Injury Lawyer Solicitor Scotland

The provisional annual data for work-related fatal accidents revealed that in the UK 137 workers were fatally injured between April 2016 and March 2017. In addition 92 members of the public were killed due to work related activities in 2016-17.

Despite the overall figure for the UK showing the second lowest figure for fatal injuries on record, the number of people fatally injured in Scotland has not followed this downward trend. Between April 2016 and March 2017 there were 19 people killed in work-related accidents in Scotland.

In 2014-15 there were 19 fatal injuries in Scotland and in 2015-16 this figure reduced to 15 fatal accidents at work. Unfortunately the decrease seen in the last year has not continued, meaning that a shocking total of 53 people were killed in fatal accidents at work in Scotland in the last three years.

Scottish fatal accidents at work

A review of the recent fatal injury numbers and cases show

  • Out of the 19 people killed, all were male
  • Out of the 19 people killed, 8 were self- employed and 11 were employed
  • Out of the 19 people killed, 16 people were over the age of 53 years.

The 19 deaths occurred in the following industry sectors:

  • Construction- 6 people killed
  • Services- 5 people killed
  • Agriculture, forestry and fishing- 4 people killed
  • Gas, electricity and water supply- 2 people killed
  • Manufacturing- 1 person killed
  • Mining & Quarrying- 1 person killed

Eight out of 19 deaths were caused by accidents involving the person being struck by a moving vehicle.  Six of the 19 deaths took place in Aberdeen and Aberdeenshire with the rest of the people who were fatally injured being from all over the rest of Scotland.

In order for Scotland to work towards decreasing this figure in the next year we need to focus on any improvement of unsafe working practices and learn lessons to ensure that our workers are kept safe. This includes businesses having liability insurance in place.

Read the full statistics released by the HSE.

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Our Personal Injury & Reparation team have experience of representing employers, companies and organisations to investigate and defend claims for work place accidents.

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