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This latest fatal injury rate is 7% lower than the five-year (2010-11 to 2014-15) average rate of 0.52 per 100,000 workers (155 deaths).
These figures indicate that the downward trend of workplace deaths -- which has more than halved over the last 20 years -- is levelling off, the HSE said.
The 2015-16 statistics, which cover the 12 months from 1 April 2015 to 31 March 2016, are provisional and will be finalised in July next year. This means that the figure of 144 could change.
The fatal injury rate of 1.94 per 100,000 workers in the construction sector in 2015-16 is lower than the five-year average of 2.04. Forty-three construction workers died last year, a rise on last year's total of 35 and the same as the average for the previous five years. This figure includes one person who was killed during the collapse of Didcot Power Station in February, but does not take into account the three whose bodies have not yet been recovered. Statisticians refer to the rate of accidents rather than the absolute total because it smooths out the effect of variations in numbers employed in the economy year to year.
The manufacturing industry, however, has seen a significant increase in the number of workplace deaths. There were 27 fatalities last year, 23% higher than the five-year average of 22. The latest rate is 0.92, compared with an average rate of 0.79 over the previous five years. Eight of those fatalities were caused by three incidents, two of which led to two deaths each. The third, an explosion at the Wood Treatment plant in Bosley, Cheshire on 17 July 2015, killed four workers.
There were also 27 fatalities in agriculture, though this is lower than the five-year average of 32. The rate for 2015-16 is 7.73, compared to the five-year average rate of 9.40.
There were some 5.71 deaths per 100,000 working in waste and recycling last year, up from the five year annual average of 5.59. A total of six workers were killed in this sector during the 2015-16 period, compared to the five-year average of seven.
In addition to the 144 workplace deaths in 2015-16, 103 members of the public were also fatally injured in accidents connected to work. Thirty-six (35%) of those related occurred on railways.
Commenting on the fatality figures, IOSH president Dr Karen McDonnell said: "Britain is renowned the world over for its health and safety systems. The release of these figures, however, is a timely reminder of the need to continue to improve working conditions, both in Britain and across the world." Click here for IOSH's response in full.
Martin Temple, chair of the HSE, said: "Britain has one of the best health and safety systems in the world, but we should always be looking to improve and to prevent incidents that cost lives.
"This year HSE travelled the country asking industry representatives, employers, unions, workers and others what they could do to help GB work well. The response was hugely encouraging and I would like to ask people to deliver on the commitments made, that will help keep Britain's workers alive."
The executive has also released the latest available figures on deaths from asbestos-related cancer. Mesothelioma, one of the few work-related diseases where deaths can be counted directly, contracted through past exposure to asbestos killed 2,515 people in Great Britain in 2014 compared with 2,556 in 2013.
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Words: Louis Wustemann, Mark Glover, Keeley DowneyIOSH 2016, the third in the institution’s cycle of conferences on the OSH leadership theme, was headed “influential leadership”. The characteristics of good leaders and of those they depend on was a recurring topic over the event’s two days at ExCel London.
As any fan of sci-fi films knows, the first thing invading aliens always say when they slither, swoop, or step down from their landing craft on to planet Earth is “we come in peace”. As we also know, this rarely proves to be the case. No sooner have they withdrawn their spindly green arms from the friendly handshakes with the (usually) American president than they’re running amok with laser weapons, annihilating the planet’s occupants in their real quest, which is to commandeer our water, or our brains, or something.
Louise Hunt, senior coroner for Solihull and Birmingham, opened inquests into the five deaths on 20 July and immediately adjourned them, pending investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) and the police. The five workers were killed when a 4.5 m concrete wall collapsed on them at a recycling facility in Birmingham.The wall, at Hawkeswood Metal Recycling’s Aston Park Road plant, comprised 1.5-tonne blocks. It gave way just before 9am on 7 July, causing tonnes of scrap metal behind it to fall on top.
The victim was an employee of A-Lift Crane Hire, which had been hired by Premier Roofing Systems to supply a crane to lift roofing sheets at food products supplier Virani Foods’ factory of in Wellingborough, Northamptonshire.As the sheets were being lifted onto the roof, the employee fell through an unprotected skylight and died as a result of his injuries.The Health and Safety Executive investigated the accident, which happened on 9 August 2013, and found no preventative measures to allow operatives to work safely on the roof.
Complete Demolition had been contracted to demolish a school at Stanney Lane, Ellesmere Port in Cheshire to make way for a new leisure centre. On 27 November 2013, while the site was being cleared, a skip truck driver reversed into a space that a 40 tonne excavator was vacating. Another worker, who was on foot, was standing in the same area. As the excavator manoeuvred it hit him, knocked him to the ground and ran over his foot.
Hove Crown Court heard that employees of Diverse Ventures were using the rope to pull the jib of a ship-mounted crane back into position when it snapped under tension. The recoiling rope struck worker Paul Hudghton, 50, and he sustained significant head injuries.