It’s not something we tend to think about, but all jobs have an element of risk to health and safety – from sales people to construction workers, and farmers to office workers – we all face hazards in different forms on a daily basis.

In the UK, strict health and safety legislation and high standards of expectation on employers, employees, and others, means that in the Health and Safety Executive’s list of 26 countries, the UK is out-performed in safety only by Slovakia.

Despite the UK’s strong safety record, things can and do still go wrong, and too many people are suffering injuries, illness, and even death while at work.

Using information from the Health and Safety Executive (HSE), as well as the Office for National Statistics (ONS), we’ve created a list of the most dangerous industries in the UK, according to statistics:

10. Vehicle Repair and Maintenance 

Around 20% of workplace deaths in the UK are linked to vehicles, and major injuries are a regular occurrence in the “car handling sector”, with the most common cause of injury being hit by a moving object or vehicle. In 2017, 26 people in the car maintenance industry suffered fatal accidents.

9. Joinery and Painting

Most of the 28 workplace deaths in joinery and painting in 2017 were caused by falls from height. Falls from height were also linked to a further 268 workplace fatalities in other sectors that year.

8. Waste Management

In 2016-17, 14 people were killed while working in waste management.

7. Civil Engineering
Causing 14 deaths between 2011 and 2016, collapsed excavations, being hit by vehicles, and coming into contact with electricity are just some of the causes of deaths reported.

6. Healthcare
The healthcare sector has the highest sickness rate in the UK, which stands at almost 5%. Work-related injury and work-related stress are also major risk factors for healthcare professionals.

5. Manufacturing
The industry includes the manufacture of food, rubber, plastic, furniture and machinery, which caused 111 deaths between 2011-16. With an average workplace injury rate of 2.4%, operating dangerous machinery or being struck by falling objects causes a number of injuries and deaths each year.

4. Lorry Driving
After falling from height, cars and lorries are among the biggest causes of workplace deaths, causing 38 deaths between 2011 and 2016. Weighing up to 44 tons, a heavy goods vehicle has the potential to cause a considerable amount of damage if the driver loses control.

3. Scaffolding and Roofing
Scaffolding is one of the most dangerous jobs in the country, and falling or injuries sustained by falling account for 29% of all workplace deaths.

2. Construction
Some 196 deaths were reported in construction between 2011 and 2016. Half of deaths on building sites were the result of falling from height; however, falling objects are also a significant risk to builders.

1. Farming
Working from height, heavy machinery, and working with potentially dangerous animals make farms an incredibly dangerous place to work. These hazards resulted in the deaths of 152 individuals between 2011-16.

We all have a responsibility to ensure the health, safety and welfare of everyone at work – from Directors and Managers, to Supervisors, employees and sub-contractors – safety is everyone’s responsibility.

Ensuring compliance with legislation, and making sure everyone has the appropriate information, supervision, instruction and training, can help to reduce risk and minimise the potential for accidents to occur.

Contact us to find about more about the wide range of training courses available from Cosaint Training.