The HSE published some good news at the beginning of the month, with figures showing that the number of workers fatally injured in workplace accidents has plummeted by 18%, compared with the average over the previous five years.

Falls from height that were the most common cause of fatalities in 2011/12, accounting for 23% of fatal injuries to workers.

The previous average number of workers who sustained fatal injuries stood at 181, but this dropped considerably to 148 in 2011/12. This is equivalent to 0.5 deaths per 100,000 workers, including the self employed.

Handling, lifting and carrying

Injuries sustained through handling, lifting and carrying among all workers including the self employed saw a reduction from 36,171 in 2010/11 to 30,983 in 2011/12.

The occupation where these types of accidents are most common is Elementary Storage, which accounted for 3,363 occurrences.

This is followed by Sales and Retail Assistants, with 1,602 incidents, and Care Workers/Home Carers, with 1,490 occurrences.

Injuries related to handling, lifting and carrying were also responsible for 1.2 million lost working days in 2011/12 out of the 27 million overall lost through work related illnesses and injuries occurring in the workplace.

During 2011/12 some 1.1 million workers were affected by a work related illness and an absence of three days or more from work was necessary in 212,000 instances – costing an estimated £13.4bn.

Slips, trips and falls & falls from height

Slips, trips and falls were the second most common workplace injury in 2011/12, with 30,574 occurrences in this period. Over half (54%) of major injuries happened during autumn and winter, and 29% of these injuries resulted in over three days absence.

However, it was falls from height that were the most common cause of fatalities, accounting for 23% of fatal injuries to workers.

The 2011/12 period recorded 7,960 falls from height among the employed and self employed. This type of workplace fatality occurred most commonly in Construction Operatives roles (19%), followed by Roofers, Roof Tilers and Slaters (12%).

It is not only workers who were killed in accidents related to the workplace – 113 members of the public were fatally injured in accidents connected to work, excluding railway related accidents.

Run up to Christmas

This may be good news but as the number of employment positions rises on the run up to Christmas, experts are predicting a surge in workplace accidents.

If your employer has breached any aspect of their legal duty of care or you were injured due to the negligence of another member of staff you may be entitled to compensation. Get in touch to find out about more about making a workplace accident claim.