Fatal workplace injury statistics UK 2016/17

HSE Statistics

HSE’s latest provisional workplace fatality figures, reveal 137 fatalities over 2016/17, and a continuation of past trends.

Positively, 137 fatalities represents the second lowest year on record after 2013/14. However, following a drop in 2012/13, the trend in the number of fatalities have been levelling out over the last 5 years. This means that more needs to be done to protect employees and continue to lower the average number of fatalities year on year.

Main Findings:

  • The construction and agriculture industries continue to have the highest number of deaths
  • Waste and recycling and agriculture continue to take the top spot as highest rate of fatalities per 100,000 workers – making them the most dangerous industries to work in
  • Agriculture, waste and recycling, construction and manufacturing remain above the yearly average of fatalities per 100,000 workers across all industries
  • Being struck by a moving vehicle and falls from height remain the top causes of fatal injuries

For more results, take a look at the infographic below;

Fatality statistics infographic


Hidden figures

Occupational diseases

HSE are yet to release figures on deaths caused by diseases and cancers caused by poor working conditions. However, ‘hidden figures’ have been estimated to range between 20,000 and 50,000 deaths each year.

Occupational diseases are much harder to assess as they occur many years after first exposure to the cause. However, this does meant that the figures are reducing year on year as working conditions have improved along with our understanding of the dangers of asbestos, dust and other substances.

Work related suicides

Work related suicide rates have increased since 2007 are estimated to be more than 100 per year. Occupational groups including doctors, nurses, construction and agricultural workers are deemed to be at higher risk.

Work related injury not reportable under RIDDOR

HSE’s fatal injury statistics are based on incidents reportable under RIDDOR. This means that some figures are excluded, including;

  • Fatal accidents from work related road collisions
  • Fatal accidents involving workers travelling by air or sea
  • Fatalities to on duty members of the army


Regardless of what the final workplace fatality statistics truly are, all employers and employees need to commit to creating a safe work environment to drive down injuries and fatalities at work.

Take a look at some of our top safety tips;


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