Industrial, Factory & Construction Accident Statistics

Industrial, manufacturing and construction are three sectors in the UK which present a number of unique risks which can result in everything from major injuries to fatalities.

It’s no surprise, then, that statistics for this area show it as one of the most risky sectors year on year – which is why measures for health and safety, risk assessment and safeguarding of employees are an incredibly positive response from the industry. The following statistics are all taken from a number of in-depth reports and data sheets from the Health & Safety Executive (HSE).

Manufacturing & Industrial Accident Statistics – Latest Trends

Manufacturing is, statistically, one of the highest risk industrial sectors to be working in with more than 3,000 major injuries and nine fatalities occurring each year. But what’s behind these figures and where are the specific risks?

Looking at how much accidents in manufacturing contribute to overall figures it’s clear to see that ‘major injuries’ are the biggest area. While fatalities make up just 10% of those in all industries, more than 15% of major injuries and more than 17% of ‘over-7-day’ injuries occur in the manufacturing industry.

Looking at the more serious end of the spectrum, there are a variety of causes for the current fatality rates in manufacturing and factory environments. Falls and moving vehicles, machinery and other objects are some of the largest contributing factors.

Thankfully, while manufacturing has one of the largest rate of major injuries, its fatality rate is actually quite low when compared with other industries, such as agriculture and construction.

What’s incredibly positive to see is that in less than five years we’ve seen the number of major injuries in manufacturing fall by almost 1,000. With manufacturing having the second highest major injury incident rate last year, this is extremely positive movement.

Summer of Key Points:

  • Falls from height and contact with machinery are the two biggest risks in manufacturing.
  • Annual major injury rates have fallen by over 700 incidents in four years.
  • Injuries in manufacturing make up about 10% of fatalities and just over 16% of major injuries in all sectors.

Construction Accident Statistics – What Are The Biggest Risks?

A positive start to our analysis of construction injuries is that, long term, these have been falling over the last five years. Major injuries have fallen to less than 2,000 incidents each year, with 3/7-day injuries having fallen from almost 6,000 in 2010.

Again, this is another clear trend across all sectors that injuries are becoming less frequent – whether that’s a minor injury resulting in some absence, all the way through to fatal injuries.

We’ve already mentioned how construction has one of the highest fatality rates in any industrial sector – it was the second highest rate last year. It seems to have a slightly lower comparative rate of major injuries, but still ranks number three on the highest risk industrial sectors and it’s important to understand why.

Falls from height are one of the biggest contributing factors to the major injury rates in construction, with other slips, trips and falls resulting in a similar number of injuries each year. This helps to understand what the risks are, what’s causing these injury rates and what can be done by employers and the government to help reduce these risks.

Summer of Key Points:

  • Falls from height are consistently the biggest cause of major injury.
  • Annual major injury rates have also fallen by around 700 since 2009/10.
  • Over 3/7 day injuries have dropped by almost 2500.
  • The lowest incident rates were injury by an animal and exposure to an explosion.

How is the Issue Being Addressed & Dealt With?

While the Health & Safety Executive (HSE) provides us with a fantastic insight into specific industries and the UK as a whole, it also has a hand in taking action to prevent figures from increasing. In addition to developing new policies, the HSE also work with local authorities to ensure these are enforced.

If policies are not being adhered to then enforcement notices will be issued, either by the local authority or by the HSE themselves. This level seems to be maintained – a method which could be contributing to declining rates in injuries and fatalities across the board.

In more serious cases, the HSE or local authorities may decide that breach of health and safety regulation means enforcement action needs to be taken. Cases are then brought forward, proceedings are started and then, if it’s found that an office was committed, subsequent fines may be issued.

These figures do reinforce the idea that both local authorities and the HSE are dealing with appropriate offences, and ensuring that the root cause is dealt with to avoid future injuries or fatalities.

Summer of Key Points:

  • A consistent number of enforcement notices are being issued each year
  • The HSE and local authorities have a conviction rate of 94% and 97% respectively.
  • The total fines issued in HSE cases were £16.7m.
  • Fines issued following cases brought by local authorities totalled £1.6m.

If you or a member of your family has been affected by any of the issues relevant to these statistics and they weren’t at fault for any accidents, then it may be possible to make a claim. You can find out more about the types of claims we deal with on our factory accidents page, or alternatively you can call us direct on 0800 6 11 12 13.