Industrial Accidents: Death

Department for Work and Pensions written question – answered on 12th October 2020.

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Photo of Shabana Mahmood Shabana Mahmood Labour, Birmingham, Ladywood

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, how many fatal workplace accidents resulted in an employer prosecution following an investigation by the Health and Safety Executive in each year from 2010 to 2020 in (a) the West Midlands and (b) England and Wales.

Photo of Mims Davies Mims Davies The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Work and Pensions

The number of fatal workplace accidents per year which subsequently resulted in the prosecution of an employer are shown in the following table:

Year (a)

West Midlands (b)

England & Wales (c)

2010

7

82

2011

9

71

2012

8

70

2013

7

70

2014

7

67

2015

8

49

2016

2

23

2017

3

23

2018

-

6

2019

-

-

2020

-

-

(a) Commencing 1st January

(b) Defined by Government Office Region

(c) Figures include the West Midlands

Notes

The table shows fatalities reported under the Reporting of Injuries, Diseases and Dangerous Occurrences Regulations (RIDDOR) 2013 and previous legislation and the analysis is based on the incident date and where the subsequent prosecution action has been completed.

There can be significant delays between a reportable incident and a prosecution concluding due to a number of reasons including: delays in primacy for the investigation passing to HSE from the police, delays arising from the need for an inquest etc. Consequently, there have no fatalities in 2019 or 2020 which have yet resulted in a concluded prosecution.

Prosecutions taken arising from a fatal investigation should not imply that the employer was liable for the death but only that we had sufficient evidence of a breach of law and that it was in the public interest to prosecute.

The figures were extracted from HSE’s live operational database and provide the picture on the date of extraction – 8 October 2020 - this is not a static picture as there are ongoing investigations for a number of the incidents, especially those which occurred in recent years.

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