What are the most Dangerous Industries in the UK?

May 15, 2015

At the end of last year the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents released an infographic that looked in detail at the health and safety statistics for 2013/4. Via this graphic it is possible to figure which industries in the UK are the riskiest and dangerous and where, perhaps, more controls need to be in place to protect workers. Here we’re looking at the most dangerous job areas in the UK, according to the HSE, RoSPA and the Labour Force Survey.

The Labour Force Survey found that 28.2 million work days were lost to injury and ill health and 2013/14 which has a huge impact on the economy and this doesn’t begin to cover the emotional and personal stresses time of work can have to.


1.      Construction Industry

Statistics show that tragically more workers in the construction industry died at work in 2013/14 than any other profession. 42 individual deaths were reported and in many instances, the cause of death was falling from height. Despite there being clear legislation, guidelines and rules the construction industry still sees these high levels of injury and even death and perhaps, in some instances, employers need to take additional steps to provide a safe working environment.

2.      Waste and Recycling Industry

The waste and recycling industry poses a relatively high risk to its workers. Whilst the industry only makes up 0.5% of the employees in the whole of Britain, 2.6% of all reported industries to employees are found in this sector and of course, it is integral to a safe society. Working in refuse and waste involves a lot of lifting, possible contact with dangerous substances and this may be indicative of the high risk. Four people were killed in 2013/14 in the waste and recycling industry.

3.      Farming

The farming industry is something many of us probably consider a peaceful way of living, in the countryside but the labour intensive workload has many risks. Modern farming can be dangerous and the HSE have found that the one in five on-the-job fatalities occur in the Agriculture, Fishing and Forestry sector and within this sector almost half of all those who died were in the farming industry.

4.      Manufacturing Industry

The size of the manufacturing industry contributes somewhat to its risk factor, with 2.5m individuals working in this area. The manufacturing of food and metal products account for 6 out of the 14 manufacturing worker deaths in 2013/14 between them.

Fatal injuries at work are not common but they do occur and this is alongside the large number of both minor and serious industries Employers in these sectors in particular need to focus on ensuring their safety standards are up to scratch to protect their workers.

photo credit: cantiere ncc_2011.02.11_65 via photopin (license)