Worrying death statistics as we consider the return to work

12/05/20 . News

Men in jobs that cannot be done from home are most likely to be killed by Covid-19.

That conclusion may seem obvious but as more and more people are being encouraged to return to work, it is important that the obvious is not forgotten.

The ONS examined the 2,494 deaths involving Covid-19 up to 20 April. Two-thirds of these were in men. For men overall, this gave a death rate per 100,000 of population of 9.9 (compared to 5.2 for women). But men in certain lines of work died at a far higher rate with men in the ‘lowest skilled occupations’ twice as likely to die.

Some occupations had even higher death rates per 100,000:

  • 9.9 - men in general
  • 19.8 - sales and retail assistants
  • 21.4 - ‘lowest skilled professions’
  • 23.4 - social care workers
  • 26.4 - bus and coach drivers
  • 35.9 - chefs
  • 36.4 - taxi-drivers and chauffeurs
  • 45.7 - security guards

One thing these high-risk professions have in common is that the work cannot be done from home. In many cases, they require close contact with other people.

These are worrying statistics and show just how important it is that any return to work is safe. The ONS table below compares death rates across occupations. You can also share our tweet below.

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