August 3, 2021
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The HSE have recently released provisional fatal injury statistics for the year to March 2021. While these figures are for injuries rather than diseases (including Covid-19) they will have been affected by the changes in working patterns e.g. more people working away from their normal workplace, caused by the coronavirus pandemic.

Overall the figures show 142 workers were killed in work related accidents during 2020/21 this represents an increase of 29 deaths when compared to the previous year. However the figures for 2019/20 were a record low and the latest figures are in line with long term trends.

The sector with the highest number of fatal accidents was Construction (39 deaths) followed by Agriculture, forestry and fishing (34) then Manufacturing (20 deaths). A different picture appears if you compare the number of deaths with the numbers working in each sector. On this measure the most dangerous industries were:

  • Agriculture, forestry and fishing with a rate of 11.37 fatalities per 100,000 workers employed
  • Waste and recycling (2.57 per 100,000)
  • Construction (1.84 per 100,000)

These compare to an average across all industries of 0.43 fatalities per 100,000 workers.

The most common cause of fatal injury remains falls from height accounting for 34 deaths, other significant types of accident include:

  • being struck by a moving vehicle (25 deaths)
  • being struck by a moving object (17 deaths),
  • trapped by something collapsing / overturning (14) and
  • contact with moving machinery (14).

One area where there has been a significant reduction is fatal injuries to members of the public. There were 60 deaths in 2020/21 compared to 106 the previous year, it is likely that this reflects the lockdown restrictions that have been in place.

Full details of these statistics can be found on the HSE’s website at:

Please speak to your normal PIB Risk Management contact or get in touch using [email protected]  if you have any questions or would like to arrange an audit of health and safety management at your workplace.