Most of us work in comfortable 9–5 office jobs where the biggest risk to our health is spilling hot coffee on our lap or getting a papercut. Although all jobs have their own sort of stress, there are some that can risk workers lives.
The International Labour Office (ILO) estimates that there are around 2.3 million workplace fatalities and 340 million injuries every year — that’s 6,300 deaths every day. Here, we take a look at the world’s most dangerous jobs in the UK.
1. Commercial fishing
Fishing can be a fun and calming hobby. However commercial fishing, according to Health and Safety Executive (HSE), is one of the UK’s most dangerous jobs. Fishermen are six times more likely to die than workers in other sectors — in 2018, the industry suffered 62 fatalities per 100,000, with workers falling overboard and drowning.
Statistics, reported after a spate of accidents that took the lives of fishermen around the North and North East of England, resulted in calls for a change in culture. According to reports, there weren’t enough health and safety and risk assessment to prevent injury and death, with many deaths being preventable if more workers wore life jackets.
Last year, ILO 88 legislation came into effect to improve safety and wellbeing for those working on fishing vessels — regulations include compulsory personal flotation devices to be worn at all times, high quality cameras on board, and fixed-wing aircraft.
David Fenner, Head of Fishing Safety at the Maritime and Coastguard Agency, said: “Fishing is still the most dangerous profession in the UK today and, whilst we are seeing improvements in safety, tragically there were seven lives lost in the industry last year, all of which could have been prevented.”
2. Waste and recycling
Surprised to see waste and recycling on this list, particularly second? Around 6,000 workers suffer from ill-health from the workplace, with seven deaths last year.
Main causes were: contact with moving machinery at 30%, being hit by a moving vehicle at 28%, and being struck by a moving or falling object at 16%. As the majority of accidents occur during collecting waste and when vehicles are moving, there is risk management that can be carried out such as eliminating reversing where possible and timing collections to avoid busy periods where pedestrians will be present.
The HSE reports that construction work is the third most dangerous industry in the UK, with 30 workers passing away in 2019. Around 79,000 workers suffered from work-related ill health in 2019, with 62% being musculoskeletal disorders, and 21% stress, depression, or anxiety…