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Work (Fatal Accidents)

Volume 450: debated on Thursday 19 October 2006

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how many fatal accidents at work there were in each of the past 30 years; and what the rate of such accidents was per 100,000 workers in each year. (93510)

Available information is set out in the following table.

The figures reflect a steady downward trend in the incidence rate of the work force fatally injured while at work. The 2005-06 fatal injury rate is the lowest on record, and within the latest comparative data across the European Union, Great Britain has the lowest rate of workplace fatal injury per 100,000 workers with an incidence rate of 1.1 compared with an average of 2.5 for the European Union.

The Health and Safety Commission continues to deliver its risk-based strategy to improve Great Britain’s health and safety performance through a targeted programme of interventions that concentrates resources on the highest areas of incidence and the poorest performers.

Reporting regime/Year1

Number of fatal injuries

Rate of fatal injury per 100,000 workers2

Employees—various pieces of legislation, but chiefly the Factories Act 1961

19763

584

2.4

1977

524

2.2

1978

499

2.1

1979

492

2.0

1980

440

1.8

Employees and the self-employed (workers)—the Notification of Accidents and Dangerous Occurrences Regulations (NADOR) 1980

1981

495

2.1

1982

520

2.3

1983

513

2.3

1984

498

2.1

1985

471

2.0

Employees and the self-employed (workers)—the Reporting of Injuries, Diseases and Dangerous Occurrences Regulations (RIDDOR) 1985, including those injuries in the offshore oil and gas industry collected under offshore installations safety legislation, before 1996-97

1986-87

407

1.7

1987-88

445

1.8

1988-89

4609

2.5

1989-90

475

1.9

1990-91

433

1.7

1991-92

368

1.5

1992-93

339

1.4

1993-94

296

1.2

1994-95

272

1.1

1995-96

258

1.0

Employees and the self-employed (workers)—the Reporting of Injuries, Diseases and Dangerous Occurrences Regulations (RIDDOR) 1995. Revised arrangements introduced the reporting of physical injuries resulting from acts of violence suffered by people at work

1996-97

287

1.1

1997-98

274

1.0

1998-99

253

0.9

1999-2000

220

0.8

2000-01

292

1.0

2001-02

251

0.9

2002-03

227

0.8

2003-04

236

0.8

2004-05

223

0.8

2005-065

212

0.7

1 Figures from 1976 to 1985 are on a calendar year basis. Figures from 1986-87 onwards are based on a planning year 1 April-31 March.

2 Rates of injury for the period 1976 to 1980 may be subject to slight underestimation, as the numerator—the reported fatal injuries for the period—had lower coverage than in subsequent legislation (and principally, excluded employees and those self-employed in health, public administration and education). The denominator—the available employment estimates for the period—takes no account of this reduction in coverage, in order to maximise consistency across the whole series.

3 In addition to the fatalities presented in the table, a further 123 deaths in both 1978 and 1979, and 139 deaths in 1980, were reported voluntarily under circumstances covered by the Health and Safety at Work Act, but not statutorily reportable at that time.

4 Includes the 167 fatalities in the Piper Alpha disaster, 6 July 1988.

5 Figures for 2005-06 are provisional and subject to change.