Working at height blog

Posted by Stuart Honeywood on 12-Sep-2018 12:40:01

Accidents more likely for workplace ‘new starters’

Accidents more likely for new starters


Statistics published by HSE show how much higher the risk of having an accident is for new starters, compared to those who have been working for longer. Young people and migrant workers are also particularly at risk when starting work.

“Workers are as likely to have an accident in the first six months at a workplace as during the whole of the rest of their working life.”

The graphs below shows how much higher the risk of having an accident is for new starters, compared to those who have been working for longer.

The figures given are the number of RIDDOR-reportable accidents (graph 1) and the number of accidents of all kinds (graph 2) expected for every 100 000 workers.

*Notes are based on RIDDOR reporting arrangements in place before changes to legislation effective from April 2012. 

(1) Reportable Injury 


accidents new starters (reportable Injury) (1)

(2) All workplace Injuries

accidents new starters all work place injuries

Analysis of investigated accidents to vulnerable migrant/foreign workers (fatal and selected non-fatal) in the construction sector reinforces this statement:

  • 8 out of 16 fatal accidents happened during the first ten days on site, half of them on the very first day;
  • only two of those who died had been in the UK a year or more; and
  • only five of the sixteen migrant workers killed were known to have even limited experience of the UK construction industry – none of the injured was known to have any.
  • the pattern of accidents (by type) is broadly the same as that for other workers in the sector.

Together with the wider evidence from the Labour Force Survey, this suggests a doubled risk of injury in the first six months of employment.

In Summary

There are clear warning indications that prevention and control measures need to be heightened for new starters who are at a higher risk of workplace accidents. 

Please do get in touch below to discuss the steps that can be taken to reduce the risks for new starters or vulnerable workers in your business. One of our experts will be pleased to discuss your requirements.


 In next week's blog, we discuss the increased risk of accidents for  new starters who work at height and how these can be avoided.  

Topics: Workplace Injuries


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