Greater efforts needed to combat ‘worrying’ rise in older workers being killed at work.
- Figures published this week by the Health and Safety Executive show an increase in the number of people killed in workplace accidents in 2017/18
- Nearly 40% of fatal injuries in 2017/18 were to workers aged 60 and over, despite them making up just 10% of the national workforce
- 1.4 million workers suffered from work-related ill health (new or long-standing) in 2017/18
The proportion of fatal injuries to workers over the age of 60 is the highest it has been in over a decade, figures published this week by the Health and Safety Executive have shown, highlighting the urgent need for greater workplace precautions to protect older workers.
Nearly 40% of fatal injuries in 2017/18 - up from approximately 25% last year - were to workers aged 60 and over, despite them making up just 10% of the national workforce. This means there were 55 older-worker deaths, more than one a week on average.
Through its support for the EU-OSHA campaign on ‘Healthy workplaces for all ages’, The Institution of Occupational Safety and Health (IOSH) has encouraged greater preventative measures to be taken to protect older workers.
The report shows how the rate of fatal injury increases with age, with workers aged 60-64 having a rate more than double the all ages rate, and workers aged 65 and over having a rate around five times greater than the all ages rate.
In total there were 144 fatalities in British workplaces in 2017-18, up from 135 in the previous year, showing a concerning rise in the number of workplace deaths.
Richard Jones, Head of Policy and Public Affairs at IOSH, said:
“Our working lives are getting longer, and older workers are an important resource and can provide invaluable expertise and experience to organisations.
“Sadly, the statistics released yesterday by the HSE paint a worrying picture of how many workers across the country are still facing risks in the workplace and having their lives tragically cut short.