British Government: 25 Percent of People Killed at Work in Past Year Were 60 or Older

Older workers make up 10 percent of the British workforce but were at the highest risk of dying in workplace incidents in 2018-2019.

Despite making up only 10 percent of the British workforce, people aged 60 and older accounted for a quarter of Brits killed in workplace incidents in the past year.

New figures released by the U.K.’s workplace safety agency, the Health and Safety Executive, reveal that 37 of 147 people killed at work in 2018-2019 were in the oldest age group.

The data also shows a slight rise in the number of workplace fatalities for the second straight year, increasing from 141 in 2017-18, according to the Institution of Occupational Safety and Health (IOSH) in Britain.

Richard Jones, the head of policy and public affairs at IOSH, pointed out that Britain has become a much safer place to work compared to four decades ago. In 1981, 495 people were killed in workplaces, according to IOSH.

“However, we cannot become complacent given that 147 people were killed at work last year,” Jones said in a statement. “That is 147 too many.”

The statistics for older workers are “worrying,” Jones added, especially since “our working lives are getting longer.”

“There are often more health and safety risks associated with older workers but they, like all other working people, have the right to expect their safety, health and wellbeing will not be put at risk by work,” Jones said. “Employers must ensure they have strong measures in place to protect them.”

The most common fatal workplace accident was “falls from a height,” causing the deaths of 40 workers. Thirty other workers were killed after being struck by a moving vehicle, the second most common cause of death.

Thirty-two workplace deaths were in the agriculture, fishing and forestry industry, making it the most dangerous sector in the U.K. last year. The number of fatal injuries in the construction industry is the lowest ever on record, with 30 workers dying while on the job.

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