Labour Research July 2018

Health & Safety Matters

Security guards have lower life expectancy

Security guards are dying almost 20 years younger than the national average, according to a new study by the GMB general union. Figures compiled for the union by the Office for National Statistics show the average age of death of people working in security professions is 62, while the average age of death in the UK is 81.

The biggest causes of death among those in the security professions are heart and respiratory diseases.

The GMB says the shocking figures show that those who put their lives on the line during terror attacks have a lower life expectancy than people born in Afghanistan or Iraq. 

Speaking ahead of the union’s annual congress in Brighton last month, GMB national officer Roger Jenkins called on employers to pledge to work with the union “to tackle this shameful problem”. He said: “These are the people we rely on, the first on the scene after atrocities like Westminster Bridge or the Manchester Arena.”

“Despite the enormous responsibilities they have, there is a misconception in this country that security work is somehow an unskilled profession. What our security members need is more support in dealing with the stress, mental health and other related health issues that can often go hand in hand with this kind of potentially traumatic work.”