New figures show drop in waste sector fatalities

Provisional figures published by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) show fatalities in the waste sector has dropped below the yearly average.

There were seven fatalities in the waste and recycling sector for the year 2018/19 compared to 12 fatal injuries during the previous year (2017/18).

This puts the most recent figures below the annual average of nine fatalities.

The provisional annual data for total work-related fatal injuries revealed that 147 workers were fatally injured between April 2018 and March 2019 (a rate of 0.45 per 100,000 workers).

There has been a long-term reduction in the number of fatalities since 1981. Although 2018/19 saw an increase of 6 workplace fatalities from 2017/18, the number has remained broadly level in recent years.

Following the release, HSE Chair Martin Temple commented: “Today’s release of workplace fatality statistics is a reminder that despite the UK’s world leading position in health and safety, we cannot become complacent as we seek to fulfil our mission in preventing injury, ill health and death at work.”

New figures show drop in waste sector fatalities


Regrettably, and despite all the back slapping that accompanies te release of these data there is actually little cheer in these figures. The numbers have gone down and of course we should rejoice at that. However, the overall reduction is small and certainly too small to claim any overall improvement too small to claim any overall improvement; percentages a wholly misleading.

see Nine deaths is nine too many. Blenkharn JI, Gladding T, Moffatt T. CIWM J 2011 August; 34-5

Far better to consider morbidity data rather than mortalities rather than mortalities. There, the numbers are horrendously high and any interventions delivering a demonstrable improvement can be properly assessed and evaluated in order to maintain a real difference.


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