HSE statistics 2016/17: riskiest sectors

HSE statistics 2016/17: riskiest sectors

Fines handed to dutyholders found guilty of safety and health offences increased by 80% in the 12 months to the end of March 2017, the Health and Safety Executive’s (HSE) injury and ill health statistics show.

The statistics also show that 137 workers in Britain suffered a fatal injury between April 2016 and March 2017 (down from 147 the previous year). This converts to a fatal injury rate of 0.43 per 100,000 workers.

92 members of the public were also killed due to work related activities in 2016/17.

Key sectors

Fatal injury rates across industrial sectors show:

  • 30 fatal injuries in construction (compared to 47 the year before)
  • 27 fatal injuries in agriculture
  • 14 fatal injuries in waste and recycling (6 the year before)
  • 19 fatal injuries in manufacturing (compared to an annual average of 20 for 2012/13 to 2016/17)
  • 14 fatal injuries in the transportation and storage industry (compared to an annual average of 12 for 2012/13 to 2016/17)

The fatalities most commonly involved being:

  • struck by moving vehicle: 31
  • falling from height: 25
  • struck by moving object: 20
  • trapped by overturning/collapsing structure: 10
  • contact with moving machinery: 8
  • contact with electricity: 8

Deaths down but ill health costing £14.9 billion

Britain boasts one of the lowest fatality rates internationally. But while the latest data shows it’s one of the safest places to work, the figures for 2016/17 show:

  • 3 million workers suffered work related ill health
  • 609,000 workplace injuries occurred

New cases of ill health and workplace injury cost Britain £14.9 billion a year with 31.2 million working days lost.

The Health & Safety Executive (HSE) statistics also reveal:

  • 137 fatal injuries in Britain’s workplaces
  • 70,116 other employer reported injuries
  • 12,000 lung disease deaths linked to past work exposure
  • fines following prosecution total £69.9 million
  • new cases of work related ill health in 2015/16 cost £7 billion excluding long latency illness such as cancer
  • 500,000 work related stress, depression or anxiety cases (new or longstanding) in 2016/17
  • 500,000 work related musculoskeletal disorder cases (new or longstanding) in 2016/17


While enforcing bodies issued 11,913 notices in 2016/17, there were fewer prosecutions. But fines increased from the 2015/16 total of £38.8 million to £69.9 million.

Tougher sentencing guidelines were introduced in England & Wales in 2016. Twenty large fines accounted for £30.7 million.

Further details of the statistics can be found at



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