At the end of 2020, the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) released its annual injury and ill-health report, with statistics revealing that Great Britain is still one of the safest places in the world to work with the lowest number of deaths on record. Despite this, there were still 11 fatal injuries to workers in transportation and storage, 35% of which were caused by the worker being struck by a moving vehicle.
The annual report by HSE includes statistics for work-related ill health, workplace injuries, working days lost, enforcement action taken and the associated costs to Great Britain.
The emergence of Covid-19 as a national health issue at the end of the final quarter of 2019/2020 does not appear to be the main driver of changes seen in the data, although it is possible that Covid-19 may be a contributory factor.
Commenting on the recent report, HSE Chair, Sarah Newton, said: “The Covid pandemic has focussed attention on the health and safety issues people face in the workplace. HSE remains committed to taking action where workers are not protected, to ensure the guidance and assistance we provide for employers in managing risks is the best available, based on the latest evidence and science”.
“We must continue to drive home the importance of managing risk and promoting behaviours to ensure employers work right so that workers are able to go home healthy and safe at the end of each day.”
Key figures in the report show there were:
- 111 fatal injuries at work
- 6 million working people suffering from a work-related illness
- 8 million working days lost due to work-related illness and workplace injury
- 325 cases were prosecuted and resulted in a conviction
Key transportation and storage figures in the report show there were:
- 52,000 workers suffering from work-related ill health (new or long-standing each year)
- Musculoskeletal disorders – 43%
- Stress, depression or anxiety – 31%
- Other illness – 26%
- 11 fatal injuries to workers
- Struck by a moving vehicle – 35%
- Fall from height – 22%
- Struck by a moving or falling object – 13%
- 28,000 workers sustain non-fatal injuries at work each year
- Slip, trip or fall – 32%
- Lifting/carrying – 24%
- Struck by a moving or falling object – 11%
There were an estimated 23,000 work-related cases of musculoskeletal disorders, making up just under half of all ill-health in transportation and storage – a statistically significantly higher than across all industries. With this in mind, the RTITB Manual Handling in Transport & Logistics course will give your team the skills to assess the risks associated with a manual handling task and the approach to take to minimise those risks, which in turn will give you total peace of mind that your operations are working towards reducing these high figures.
Overall, around 3.2% of workers in transportation and storage suffered from work-related ill-health, similar to the rate for workers across all industries. While there is some variation in the sub-sector rates, only road haulage has a rate statistically significant lower compared to all industries.
As the leading Driver CPC Consortium in the UK and Ireland, at RTITB we believe it’s incredibly important to not only take action and recognise ill-health in the workplace, but to also help workers improve their health. That’s why we have specifically taken action to help the drivers of our industry. We have recently launched a new Driver CPC training platform – for RTITB Master Driver CPC Consortium members – which includes refreshed materials, including game changing mental health and physical health modules. These modules help increase understanding of health risk factors amongst drivers whilst giving them actionable steps to take to help reduce some of the worrying figures we see in this report.
In 2019/2020, the estimated economic cost to Great Britain totalled £16.2 billion with 38.8 million working days lost.
Source: HSE, HSE releases annual injury and ill-health statistics for Great Britain, 4th November 2020.