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These Are the Most Dangerous Industries for Employees in 2024

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Health and safety within the workplace have become increasingly important as industries have progressed, yet some unfortunate incidents still occur, leading to injuries for workers. By design, some industries pose more risk than others. Health and safety experts at Horizon Platforms have analysed the data to see which occupations and industries have the highest risk of worker injury. They also looked at the biggest causes of workplace injuries.

Health and safety experts at Horizon Platforms used data provided by HSE to uncover who is at greatest risk from workplace injury. The data covers averages of injuries recorded for workers employed in the past year.

The data showed that health and social work is the industry workers are most likely to become injured in. There were around 10,834 incidents of worker injuries within health and social care in the last year of recorded data. Within health and social care, the biggest cause of injury is slips and falls, followed by acts of violence as the second biggest cause of injury.

Across all industries, carrying heavy items was the main cause of worker injury, emphasising the importance of proper health and safety training for lifting. The second biggest cause of workplace injury across all roles was slips and falls. Falling from heights was the biggest cause of fatal injuries at work, additionally emphasising how key following safety procedures at work is. Interestingly, managers and senior leaders were statistically more likely to fall victim to injury at work compared against their assistants or secretaries; however, secretaries were more likely to take more days of sickness absence for injury versus their seniors.

Men were far more likely to be injured at work than women; however, women were more likely to endure illness at work. Looking at employment types, most fatal injuries affected employed staff members; a third of fatal injuries happened to self-employed workers.

The most dangerous industries for injury risk

Rank

IndustryTotal number of reported non-fatal injuries to employees last yearNumber of over-7-day injuries to employeesRate of all reported non-fatal injury per 100,000 employees

Rate of each reported injury per 100,000 employees

#

All industries

60,64542,920215

63

1

Health and social work activities

10,8348,386259

59

2

Manufacturing

10,3827,691424

110

3

Transportation and storage

8,0596,050684

171

4

Wholesale and retail trade; repair of motor vehicles and motorcycles

6,8734,992209

57

5

Education

4,8452,834152

63

6

Warehousing

4,8343,6891,169

277

7

Construction

4,0382,499296

113

8

Accommodation and food service activities

3,9922,842260

75

9

Public administration and defence; compulsory social security

3,4052,484136

37

10

Information and communication; financial and insurance activities; real estate activities

2,6161,64341

15

The most common cause of injury

#

Injury cause

Averaged estimated incidence (thousands)Averaged estimated days lost (thousands)Averaged estimated days lost (thousands)

Average days lost per worker

 

All accident kinds

5225,3655,365

0.2

1

Injured while handling, lifting or carrying

117995995

0.037

2

Slipped, tripped or fell on the same level

961,1181,118

0.042

3

Physically assaulted by a person

40358358

0.013

4

Hit by moving, flying, falling object

38342342

0.013

5

Contact with moving machinery

32509509

0.019

6

Fell from a height

26586586

0.022

7

Hit something fixed or stationary

237878

0.0029

8

Injured by an animal

20113113

0.0042

What can workplaces do to reduce injury risk?

Malcolm Briggs, Health & Safety Expert at Horizon Platforms, said: “There are many measures employers can put in place; firstly, it is important to be up to date with recommended guidance within your specific industry. Do you offer workers the correct tools and PPE to maximise worker safety, review your health and safety protocols on a regular basis and make sure you are adhering to the latest guidance?

“For workers using machinery there must be proper training put in place beforehand to ensure they know how to operate specialist machinery. Ensure you provide up-to-date health and safety documentation within your workplace that is easily accessible for your employees. Proper safeguarding processes should also be in place to manage any risk to your workers health. If incidents do occur, you should have a clear process for reporting and documenting them.”

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