The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) have recently released the annual statistics regarding health and safety at work within the UK, with many of these figures show the need for continued improvement of work practices.
In total, 1.4 million workers suffer from illness related to their job, a vast amount of people who aren’t safeguarded by appropriate policies. In 2016 and 2017, the approximate cost of injuries and illness in the workplace exceeded £15bn, illness is the highest cause of these costs, at 65% (£9.7bn), with injury accounting for 35% (5.2bn).
According to the Labour Force Survey, 555,000 injuries have occurred at work – and under RIDDOR (Reporting of Injuries, Diseases and Dangerous Occurrences Regulations), 71,062 injuries were reported. The result of illness and injury is the loss of 30.7 million days, and in total, that’s the equivalent of 82,191 years’ worth of work days.
144 people were killed at their workplace, again highlighting a lapse of correct procedures. 2,595 mesothelioma (cancer of the inner lining of the chest) deaths were also reported in 2016, the consequence of workplace exposure to asbestos. The HSE estimate that these figures will remain steady until the next decade, where there will then be a slow decline as asbestos is removed from the workplace.
Self-reported work related ill health has recently steadied, while fatal and non-fatal injuries have reduced in recent years. Over time and correct health and safety implementations, these figures will hopefully continue to lower and the risk of injury and illness will be reduced. In short, many of these incidents could be reduced through the implementation of safety measures, investment in training and a ‘speak up’ policy between employers and employees when they see something wrong which could result in an incident – or even a fine, in the event an accident occurs.
These figures show that it’s time for everyone to start getting serious about safety. If you’re an employer, can you afford to let safety take a backseat? Read more on these statistics via the HSE website.