The UK's most dangerous jobs revealed

Sarah Coles
UK's most dangerous jobs
UK's most dangerous jobs

The deadliest jobs in the UK are in construction. Tragically, 43 builders died in workplace accidents last year, and there were a shocking 5,245 injuries on construction sites overall. Unfortunately the risks are even higher for some people.

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The figures, from Accident Claims Advice, also found that manufacturing and agriculture (which includes farming and fishing) are in joint second place - seeing 27 deaths each. Transport and storage, meanwhile, saw 14 deaths, and water, waste and sewerage a total of seven.

The vast majority of accidents aren't fatal, so while there were 144 deaths at work last year, there were 72,702 non-fatal injuries. The industry with the biggest single share of non-fatal injures was manufacturing, followed by transport and then construction.

More risk

These accidents weren't evenly scattered throughout the country. The biggest risk of non-fatal injuries was in the South East - followed by the South West and the West Midlands. The biggest risk of death at work, meanwhile, was in the East of England, followed by the East Midlands, the North East, the North West and then Yorkshire and the Humber.

Men were involved in the vast majority of all accidents. They were responsible for 47,142 non-fatal injuries (compared to women who had 25,560 of them). Men also made up 137 of the fatal injuries - while just seven women died in workplace accidents.

Age seems to make a difference, with those aged 45-54 facing by far the highest risk of death. They were also marginally more likely to suffer a non-fatal injury than any other age group, but were swiftly followed by those aged 25-34 and then those aged 35-44.

Perhaps unsurprisingly, most deaths were the result of head injuries. Non-fatal injuries, meanwhile tended to be to hands and arms.

If you're a man working in construction in the East of England, therefore, it pays to keep your wits about you. Similarly, if you're a man working in manufacturing in the South East, it may pay to think carefully about where you're putting your hands.

The bright side

The good news is that while any deaths at work are a horrible tragedy, the number of injuries is falling. In the late 1970s there were almost 350,000 non-fatal injuries a year, while today this has fallen to just over 70,000. In 1975, meanwhile, there were over 650 workplace deaths, compared to fewer than 150 in 2016.

Within Europe, we're actually one of the safest countries. We have an average of 0.67 injuries for every 100,000 employees - the second lowest after The Netherlands. This compares to the EU15 average of 1.44 per 100,000.

Unusual accidents

And while the overall statistics reveal that some jobs are inherently more dangerous than others, we have learned over the years that people can get into scrapes in any role.

Back in 2015 it emerged that a Bradford council employee had been awarded £12,000 compensation after they tried to flush a toilet, and were hit by the lid

Meanwhile, there was a Ceredigion council staff member who received £16,500 after slipping on a cream cake.

There was also a worker awarded £3,370 after falling off a toilet because of a 'defective seat'; and a Coventry council employee who was given £12,566 after getting her feet caught in hoover.

So whatever your job, clearly it pays to be careful out there.