UK jobs with the highest rate of the coronavirus deaths have been confirmed by a new study from the Office of National Statistics.

Men working in process plants, as security guards or as chefs had some of the highest Covid-19 death rates in 2020, new figures show.

Plant workers recorded a rate of 143.2 deaths per 100,000 males, compared with a rate of 31.4 among men of the same age in the wider population.

For security guards and related occupations the figure stood at 100.7 deaths per 100,000 males.

For female workers, jobs involving assembly lines and machine operations posed the greatest threat, as well as care workers and home carers.

Covid-19 death rates for men and women working as teaching and educational professionals, such as secondary school teachers, were not statistically significantly raised compared with rates for the wider working population, the ONS found.

The rate for male teachers and educational professionals in England and Wales in 2020 was 18.4 deaths per 100,000, compared with 31.4 for all males aged 20 to 64; while for women it was 9.8 compared with 16.8.

For individual teaching occupations, the ONS said it was only possible to calculate a reliable rate for secondary education teaching professionals, with 39.2 deaths per 100,000 males and 21.2 per 100,000 females.

The ONS said these were “not statistically significantly different than those of the same age and sex in the wider population”.

Ben Humberstone, ONS head of health analysis and life events, said: “Men continue to have higher rates of death than women, making up nearly two-thirds of these deaths.”

The figures do not prove that rates of death are caused directly by differences in employment, however.

“There are a complex combination of factors that influence the risk of death, from your age and your ethnicity, where you live and who you live with, to pre-existing health conditions.”

Mr Humberstone added. “Our findings do not prove that the rates of death involving Covid-19 are caused by differences in occupational exposure.”

People working in close proximity to each other have higher Covid-related death rates along with professions which mean regular exposure to the virus when compared to the rest of the working age population.

Rates of death involving Covid-19 among male and female social care workers continue to be statistically significantly higher than those for the wider working population, the ONS added.

A total of 469 Covid-19 deaths among social care workers were registered in England and Wales between March 9 and December 28 2020, with rates of 79.0 deaths per 100,000 males and 35.9 deaths per 100,000 females.

Among healthcare workers – including doctors, nurses, ambulance staff and hospital porters – men had a statistically significant higher rate of death involving Covid-19 (44.9 deaths per 100,000 males), while for women the rate was not significantly different (17.3 deaths per 100,000).