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HSE releases workplace fatality figures for 2022/23

A total of 135 workers were killed at work in Great Britain in 2022/23, which is an increase of 12 deaths (9%) from the previous year, newly released Health and Safety Executive (HSE) figures show.

Although this is a significant increase compared to last year, this year’s figure is only slightly above the previous 5-year average of 134 deaths between 2017 and 2022. Overall however, this represents a downward trend in workplace fatalities, with 150 workplace deaths 10 years ago in 2012/13 and a significantly higher 227 deaths in 2002/03.

In this year’s figures, the most common cause of fatal injuries continues to be falls from height (40), followed by being struck by a moving object (29) and being struck by a moving vehicle (20), which all together make up two-thirds (66%) of the figures.

Construction is the most dangerous industry

The construction industry continues to account for the greatest number of workers killed in fatal accidents, with 45 deaths (33%). This is some way higher than the second highest industry, agriculture, forestry and fishing (21 fatalities).

In fact, 82% of fatal injuries occurred in only five industry sectors:

  • construction,
  • agriculture, forestry and fishing,
  • manufacturing,
  • transportation and storage
  • wholesale, retail, motor vehicle repair
Older workers are at higher risk

There continues to be a disproportionate risk to older workers, with around 25% (33) of fatal injuries involving workers aged 60+, even though they only make up around 11% of the workforce.

Self-employed workers are at higher risk

Similar to last year, a third (33%) of fatal injuries were to self-employed workers even though they only make up 13% of workers. This is also in line with the 5-year average of 33% of fatal injuries to self-employed workers between 2018/19 and 2022/23.

A positive finding

A more positive finding saw a 23% decrease in workplace fatal injuries to members of the public as a result of a work-related incident, from 88 fatalities in 2021/22 to 68 in 2022/23.

This is also significantly below the previous 5-year-average of 93 from 2017/18 – 2021/22.


HSE (2023) ‘Workplace fatal injuries in Great Britain, 2021’. Available at: https://www.hse.gov.uk/statistics/fatals.htm (accessed: 17/07/2023)

HSE (2023) ‘HSE releases annual workplace fatality figures for 2022/23’. Available at: https://www.hse.gov.uk/statistics/pdf/fatalinjuries.pdf (accessed: 17/07/2023)

ONS (Office for National Statistics) ‘Understanding changes in self-employment in the UK: January 2019 to March 2022’. Available at: https://www.ons.gov.uk/employmentandlabourmarket/peopleinwork/employmentandemployeetypes/ (accessed: 17/07/2023)

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