How Does the UK Compare with Other Countries When it Comes to Fatal Workplace Accidents?


It is unfortunate, but each year around the UK there are workplace fatalities and in 2018/19 there were a total of 147 in this country. It is important to compare this figure to other countries around the world and to identify why these fatalities occur and what action should be taken to minimise this figure.

Around Europe

While 147 is a figure which is still too high, the UK actually has one of the lowest rates of fatal injury across the entire EU. Looking at standardised incidence rates per 100,000 employees of fatal injuries in the workplace in 2016, the UK had a rate of .53 which was second only behind Cyrus. This compares favourably to other countries with large economies, such as Germany (.63), Poland, (90), Italy (.91), Spain (1.53) and France (3.32).


By breaking down the UK into regions, England has much lower fatal injury rates than Scotland and Wales. The highest annual average for 2014-15 to 2018/19 in England is the north-west and west midlands with 15 each followed by Yorkshire and the Humber with 14. The lowest is the North East with 4.


It is also important to look at the reasons for these fatalities as this can provide guidance on what action should be taken to reduce the annual figure. The data reveals that around three-quarters of the fatal injuries sustained in 2018/19 were due to only 5 types of accident. This includes falls from height with 40 fatalities, 30 being struck by a moving vehicle, 16 struck by a moving object, 11 trapped by something collapsing/overturning and 14 due to contact with moving machinery. There were then 36 fatalities due to a range of other accidents.

Steps to Reduce Fatalities

With most fatalities occurring due to just a few reasons, it is clear that these are the areas that industries need to focus on to reduce their prevalence. This will depend on the industry but increasing safety regulations, providing the right equipment, safety training and increasing communication will all be vital for bringing these numbers down. If you or somebody that you know is involved in an accident at work that is not their fault, it is important to seek compensation from personal injury lawyers like Boyes Turner Claims so that you can recover damages and hold the responsible party accountable.

While the UK has one of the lowest rates for workplace fatalities, it is still important to work to reduce this figure as even one is too high. Looking at the reasons that these fatalities occur is crucial for this because it provides industries and employers with key areas to focus on in terms of increasing safety and protecting employees.