• GL
Choose your location?
  • Global Global
  • Australian flag Australia
  • French flag France
  • German flag Germany
  • Irish flag Ireland
  • Italian flag Italy
  • Polish flag Poland
  • Qatar flag Qatar
  • Spanish flag Spain
  • UAE flag UAE
  • UK flag UK

Health and Safety Executive: Work Related Fatality Statistics

17 October 2023
The HSE has published annual statistics for work related fatalities.

The figures published by the HSE reveal that there were 135 work related incidents in the period from April 2022 to March 2023 – an increase from 123 deaths in the previous year, but in line with pre pandemic levels.

This article provides an overview of the HSE's statistics for work related fatalities across different industries and the common causes of those incidents, along with a summary of the current position regarding asbestos.

Specific Industries and Common Causes

The industry with the highest number of deaths was construction, with 45 work related fatalities. Construction often involves working at height, and having caused 40 incidents, falls from height was the most common cause of fatal injuries.

The second most common cause of work related fatalities was being struck by moving objects. This resulted in 29 deaths and was closely followed by being struck by a moving vehicle. Despite this being the third highest cause, the number of deaths was 20 in total; 50% less than the number of deaths caused by falls from height.

According to the figures, agriculture, forestry, and fishing each had 21 deaths in addition to having the highest rate of fatal injury per 100,000 workers of all the main industrial sectors. Manufacturing, transportation and storage are also amongst the industries that experienced the highest amount of deaths.


The HSE have also published figures for Mesothelioma, a cancer caused by past exposure to asbestos. The figures show that in 2021, the number of deaths from this disease was 2,268. This total is substantially lower than the average of 2,520 deaths per year over the period 2012-2019, and is a fall of 302 deaths from the 2,570 deaths in 2020.

Asbestos related diseases take decades to develop, but due to the level of potential harm caused the use of asbestos was banned in 1999. Prior to the ban, asbestos was frequently used in construction. Controls have now been tightened and under the current regulations, where asbestos is present in buildings, it must be managed, maintained in a good condition and stay undisturbed. If this level of protection cannot be achieved, the asbestos must be removed.

In attempt to raise awareness of the risks associated with asbestos, the HSE have recently launched a campaign called 'Asbestos & You'.


Despite long term reductions in the number of workers killed by work activities, each year such cases continue, with 135 deaths in 2022/23. The DWF Regulatory, Compliance and Investigations team has a wealth of knowledge and experience in dealing with Health and Safety matters and can advise on work related fatalities and asbestos related queries.

If you require any further information regarding the above, please contact Simon.Belfield@dwf.law

We would like to thank Katie Moody for contributing to this article.

DWF Crisis Response 24/7 Helpline
Register to receive our hotline number to safeguard your reputation and protect your business.

Further Reading