Health and Safety statistics recently published by the Health & Safety Executive show that Britain continues to be one of the safest places to work in Europe.
However, many workers are still being injured or made ill by work. The injury and ill-health statistics released show that an estimated 28.2 million working days were lost due to work related ill health or injury in 2013/14.
Sectors reporting the lowest injury rates were Finance (310) and Education with 610 per 100,000 workers. At any stage of the work activity being done, there is always the potential of an accident or damage to someone’s health occurring. Employees are exposed to hazards, be they slips, trips, falls, fire, hazardous substances, loads which have to be manually handled, equipment use, electricity, working with display screen equipment, or even psychological hazards such as stress.
- 1.2 million working people suffering from a work-related illness
- 2,538 mesothelioma deaths due to past asbestos exposures (2013)
- 142 workers killed at work (2014/15)
- 78,000 other injuries to employees reported under RIDDOR
- 629,000 injuries at work from the Labour Force Survey
- 28.2 million working days lost due to work-related illness and workplace injury
- £14.2 billion estimated cost of injuries and ill health from current working conditions (2012/13)
Industry specific statistics
The main industry sectors with the highest rates of fatal injury to workers were again agriculture (27 fatalities, equating to a rate of 8.77 deaths per 100,000 workers), waste and recycling (4 fatalities, equating to a rate of 3.3 deaths per 100,000 workers) and construction (42 fatalities, equating to a rate of 1.98 deaths per 100,000 workers).
There were 70 fatal injuries to members of the public during 2013/14 that occurred as a result of the work activities of others (note that this figure excludes fatalities associated with incidents on the railways, such as suicide or trespass).
11.3 million working days were lost due to stress related illness; the rates are highest in; social care, healthcare, education and public sector.
Although cost is not the main priority, it is the welfare of each individual and family, however the economics are clear that employers must continue to take Health & Safety seriously, which although these statistics can seem to indicate otherwise, most do.
People working in different types of job obviously face a range of different hazards.
For example, an office worker is much less at risk from burns than a chef – but there are a range of common accidents and injuries which occur across all occupational sectors – and trips/slips and falls invariably top the league.
Overall, slips/trips and falls or damage caused by manual handling/lifting remain the main culprits of injury in the workplace.
The good news is that the government has set targets under the Revitalising Health and Safety initiative to reduce injuries and latest available figures show that the rate of both fatal and over-three-day accidents in the UK is substantially lower than in most other EU countries apart from Sweden and Ireland.
For full details please visit the HSE Health and Safety Statistics for 2013/14