Annual Workplace Injuries and Fatalities – HSE Statistics

The Health & Safety Executive (HSE) have released their annual Health and safety at work Summary statistics for Great Britain 2016. 


The provisional annual data for work-related fatal accidents revealed that 137 workers were fatally injured between April 2016 and March 2017 a rate of 0.43 per 100,000 workers), the second lowest year on record.


The new figures show the rate of fatal injuries in several key industrial sectors:

  • 30 fatal injuries to construction workers were recorded. While this accounts for the largest share, this is the lowest number on record for the sector. However, over the last five years the number has fluctuated, The annual average for the past five years is 39. The annual average rate over the last five years in construction is around four times as high as the all industry rate.

  • 27 fatal injuries to agricultural workers were recorded. This sector continues to account for a large share of the annual fatality count. It has the highest rate of fatal injury of all the main industry sectors, around 18 times as high as the all industry rate.

  • 14 fatal injuries to waste and recycling workers were recorded. Despite being a relatively small sector in terms of employment, the annual average fatal injury rate over the last five years is around 15 times as high as the all industry rate.

The new figures also highlight the risks to older workers – around a quarter of fatal injuries in 2016/17 were to workers aged 60 or over, even though such workers made up only around 10% of the workforce.



 The reporting of health and safety incidents at work is a statutory requirement, set out under the Reporting of Injuries, Diseases and Dangerous Occurrences Regulations (RIDDOR). RIDDOR puts duties on employers, the self-employed and people in control of work premises (the Responsible Person) to report certain serious workplace accidents, occupational diseases and specified dangerous occurrences (near misses).

Types of reportable incidents

Deaths and injuries

If someone has died or has been injured because of a work-related accident this may have to be reported. Not all accidents need to be reported, other than for certain gas incidents, a RIDDOR report is required only when:

  • the accident is work-related

  • it results in an injury of a type which is reportable

Types of reportable injury

The death of any person

All deaths to workers and non-workers, with the exception of suicides, must be reported if they arise from a work-related accident, including an act of physical violence to a worker.

Specified injuries to workers

The list of ‘specified injuries’ in RIDDOR 2013 replaces the previous list of ‘major injuries’ in RIDDOR 1995. Specified injuries are (regulation 4):

  • fractures, other than to fingers, thumbs and toes

  • amputations

  • any injury likely to lead to permanent loss of sight or reduction in sight

  • any crush injury to the head or torso causing damage to the brain or internal organs

  • serious burns (including scalding) which:

    • covers more than 10% of the body

    • causes significant damage to the eyes, respiratory system or other vital organs

  • any scalping requiring hospital treatment

  • any loss of consciousness caused by head injury or asphyxia

  • any other injury arising from working in an enclosed space which:

    • leads to hypothermia or heat-induced illness

    • requires resuscitation or admittance to hospital for more than 24 hours

For further guidance on specified injuries is available.

Over-seven-day incapacitation of a worker

Accidents must be reported where they result in an employee or self-employed person being away from work, or unable to perform their normal work duties, for more than seven consecutive days as the result of their injury. This seven day period does not include the day of the accident, but does include weekends and rest days. The report must be made within 15 days of the accident.

Over-three-day incapacitation

Accidents must be recorded, but not reported where they result in aworker being incapacitated for more than three consecutive days. If you are an employer, who must keep an accident book under the Social Security (Claims and Payments) Regulations 1979, that record will be enough.

Non fatal accidents to non-workers (eg members of the public)

Accidents to members of the public or others who are not at work must be reported if they result in an injury and the person is taken directly from the scene of the accident to hospital for treatment to that injury. Examinations and diagnostic tests do not constitute ‘treatment’ in such circumstances.

There is no need to report incidents where people are taken to hospital purely as a precaution when no injury is apparent.

If the accident occurred at a hospital, the report only needs to be made if the injury is a ‘specified injury’ (see above).

Occupational diseases

Employers and self-employed people must report diagnoses of certain occupational diseases, where these are likely to have been caused or made worse by their work: These diseases include (regulations 8 and 9):

  • carpal tunnel syndrome;

  • severe cramp of the hand or forearm;

  • occupational dermatitis;

  • hand-arm vibration syndrome;

  • occupational asthma;

  • tendonitis or tenosynovitis of the hand or forearm;

  • any occupational cancer;

  • any disease attributed to an occupational exposure to a biological agent.

Further guidance on occupational diseases is available.

Specific guidance is also available for:

Dangerous occurrences

Dangerous occurrences are certain, specified near-miss events. Not all such events require reporting. There are 27 categories of dangerous occurrences that are relevant to most workplaces, for example:

  • the collapse, overturning or failure of load-bearing parts of lifts and lifting equipment;

  • plant or equipment coming into contact with overhead power lines;

  • the accidental release of any substance which could cause injury to any person.

Further guidance on these dangerous occurrences is available.

Additional categories of dangerous occurrences apply to mines, quarries, offshore workplaces link to external website and relevant transport systems (railways link to external website etc).