A recent study by First4Lawyers has analysed decades of workplace deaths to reveal the deadliest industries to work in, and how much people get paid to do the job. The results are pretty astounding.
Since 2008 a total of 1,267 people have died at work in the UK, the construction industry leading the line with a total of 382 people dying on the job in the last decade. Converse to this trend, the agricultural industry has killed the most people in Britain in 2017, with 16 people dying at work so far this year.
The survey also found that the average age for workplace deaths is 48 years old, with most deaths taking place on Tuesday the 9th (20 in the last 10 years), and that Scotland is the region of the UK most affected.
The Construction Industry
Named Britain’s deadliest industry, construction has seen 30.1% of all workplace deaths since 2008. This is followed by the service and agricultural industries which have seen 287 and 269 deaths over the last 10 years. The utilities sector is the ‘safest’ industry to work in where workplace deaths are prevalent.
Looking at average salaries, those working in construction can expect to earn £36,702 a year – a statistic taken from the analysis of over a million jobs advertised on the Adzuna website. This is 35% over the average UK salary of £27,271, suggesting that it pays to work in a riskier environment.
Conversely, farm workers only earn an average of £19,390 a year even though it’s nominally the third deadliest industry in the UK.
The deadliest year in the last decade was 2011, which saw 52 people killed on the job, however an improvement in health and safety regulations has been cited as a reason for a slight decrease in the following years. Last year saw 33 people dying as the result of a workplace accident on a construction job, however 2017 has only seen the deaths of 12 people.
Average Salaries in the UK’s Deadliest Industries
The following statistics are taken from analysis of jobs posted on Adzuna, except Police and Firefighter salaries which were retrieved from Payscale.
– Agriculture: £35,857 (farm workers are on the lower end of this spectrum)
– Construction: £36,702 (Site managers – £42,041, Bricklayers – £29,209)
– Service: £30,597 (Police – £31,000, Firefighters – £32,447, Soldier – £28,346)
– Utilities: £37,678 (Oil & gas engineers – £30,584)
– Manufacturing: £31,832
– Waste Management: £29,185
Workplace Deaths in Scotland
Looking at UK workplace deaths by region, 176 occurred in Scotland (the most of all regions) even though Scotland represents only 8.3% of the UK population. A total of 61% of workers lost their lives in agriculture over the last decade, representing 35% of all workplace deaths in the country.
Just across the border in the North East of England the death rate is at its lowest across the UK, with only 39 people dying as the result of a workplace accident. Again, the majority of these came from the agricultural industry.
Acting as a spokesperson for First4Lawyers, Andrew Cullwick had this to say about the report:
“Although we have seen a slight decrease in workplace deaths across all industries, we expected to see a lot less. It’s quite shocking to see that still to this day workplace accidents are turning into deaths, and construction remains the most dangerous industry, despite so many health and safety regulations being introduced. With working practices constantly being improved, there is no excuse for companies not obeying the law and fulfilling their business obligations.”
It’s also worth mentioning that this study focuses on workplace deaths, and doesn’t take into consideration life-threatening or serious accidents, which are still very much prevalent. So whilst some may not be particularly enthused by the introduction of AI in the workplace, if it can remove the risks associated with some of the deadliest jobs, it would be a welcome addition to the UK workforce.