· News

Poor workplace training leading to fatalities

Between April 2022 and March 2023, 135 workers lost their lives as a result of work-related accidents

There is a clear correlation between workplace fatalities and training provisions, according to new research from software company Cloud Assess.

The construction industry, the most dangerous out of the industries researched, offers the least consistent training, with only 54% of workers going through training every year. 

By contrast, the utility sector, which is the safest, has 65% of its employees go through training each year.

Read more: Work-related fatalities increased in 2023

Rob Bright, founder of Cloud Assess, said too many employees lose their life through preventable workplace accidents. 

Between April 2022 and March 2023, 135 workers lost their lives as a result of work-related accidents compared to 123 workers the year before, according to the Health and Safety Executive’s (HSE) annual report.

Speaking to HR magazine, Bright said: “Employees across the UK continue to lose their lives at work every single year due to a lack of training designed to build competency and improve safety.

“This doesn’t have to be the case. Lives could be saved by providing all those working in high-risk roles with adequate training.” 

The safest industries surveyed used a blend of both online and in-person training.  

The utility sector was almost 50% more likely to offer e-learning modules alongside other forms of training than the construction sector.

It was also most likely to offer onsite training (42%). 

Transport, the second most dangerous industry by fatality rate, was more likely to offer classroom-based training sessions away from the actual workplace (44%).

Industries with the lowest fatality numbers were also most likely to measure the success of training through behavioural change rather than uptake.

Utilities firms, in the safest industry, are most likely to measure genuine changes in behaviour among staff, whilst transport companies often only focus on compliance.

Read more: Employees unaware of death in service benefits

HSE’s chief executive Sarah Albon said employers must continue to prioritise workplace safety.

She said: “Any loss of life in the workplace is a tragedy. While Great Britain is one of the safest countries in the world to work, safety must continue to be at the top of everyone’s agenda.

“Our mission is to protect people and places and we remain committed to maintaining safe workplaces and holding employers to account for their actions.”