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Up To 50,000 work Deaths Unreported Each Year

Thursday, April 27, 2017

Official RIDDOR figures ‘just the tip of the iceberg’ says union.

Up to 50,000 work-related deaths may go unreported each year, according to GMB estimates.

Official RIDDOR figures - recorded for the Health and Safety Executive - look to be lower than last year’s total of 144. [See note 1 for regional breakdown of work-related deaths]

However this good news is tempered by the fact UK workers are moving away from industries like construction and agriculture, where deaths are easily recorded into RIDDOR categories, into service industries.

In addition, the figures do not include occupational disease -primarily lung disease and heart disease; workers killed in road traffic accidents; workers killed at sea; and work-related suicides.

GMB estimates between 20,000 and 50,000 workers or ex-workers are killed in these ways each year.

GMB is participating in a series of events across the country tomorrow (April 28, 2017) in honour of International Workers’ Memorial Day. [2]

Dan Shears, GMB National Officer for Health and Safety, said:

"Official work-related deaths look like they will be down for 2016/17 - and clearly that's good news.

"But it does not tell the whole story.

"UK workers are moving away from industries like construction and agriculture, where deaths are easily recorded into RIDDOR categories, into service industries.

"These figures do not include occupational disease -primarily lung disease and heart disease; workers killed in road traffic accidents; workers killed at sea; and work-related suicides.

"GMB estimates up to 50,000 workers or ex-workers are killed in these ways each year.

"As you can see the official figures are the tip of the iceberg.

“International Workers’ Memorial Day is a day when workers around the world stop to remember those workers killed, disabled, injured or made unwell by their work.

“It is a day to remember the dead and to fight like hell for the living.”

ENDS

Contact: GMB press office on 07958 156846 or at press.office@gmb.org.uk

Notes to editors:

[1]

Workplace deaths by region (local authorities available on request)

Region

2012/13

2013/14

2014/15

2015/16

London

12

11

9

17

North West

14

17

19

17

Scotland

23

20

19

16

Yorkshire and Humber

15

18

15

15

East

17

9

10

14

Wales

8

7

10

13

East Midlands

7

13

15

12

South West

12

13

21

12

West Midlands

13

12

11

12

South East

25

0

10

11

North East

2

6

1

5

Workplace deaths per 100,000 workers (local authorities available on request)

Region

2011/12

2012/13

2013/14

2015/16

Wales

0.60

0.51

0.72

0.93

Scotland

0.89

0.77

0.72

0.60

Yorkshire and Humber

0.62

0.73

0.60

0.58

East Midlands

0.33

0.62

0.69

0.54

North West

0.43

0.52

0.57

0.50

East

0.63

0.33

0.43

0.49

West Midlands

0.52

0.47

0.42

0.45

North East

0.18

0.54

0.09

0.43

South West

0.45

0.48

0.76

0.43

London

0.26

0.23

0.18

0.34

South East

0.60

0.14

0.13

0.25

[2] GMB is participating IWMD events across the country, including:

• Tower Hill

• Leyton

• Walthamstow

• Waltham Forest

• Milton Keynes

• Southampton

• Birmingham

• Solihull

• Derby

• Nottingham

• Manchester

• Liverpool

• Clydebank

• Bristol

• Leeds

• Sheffield

• Bradford

• York

• Cardiff
 

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