07 Nov 2018
The HSE recently released their annual injury and ill health report for Great Britain (2017/2018). The findings show that there are still too many workers in the UK are being injured and/or made ill as a result of their work.
What do the stats say?
There were 144 fatal injuries at work this year, with 1.4 million workers suffering from work-related ill health and approximately 541,000 from other injuries. This is a staggering figure and has actually increased from 516,000 on the number from the previous year.
Mental health issues have increased from 526,000 in 2016/17 to 595,000 In 2017/18 with 239,000 recorded as suffering from new cases of work related stress and again is an increase on the previous year’s figures.
In 2016/17 there were 1.3 million work-related ill health cases; meaning this year the amount of workers suffering from ill health has risen. The amount of workers suffering from non-fatal injuries has increased by 1%, and the amount of fatal injuries has also increased from 137 last year to 144 for this year.
The amount of working days lost due to injuries and ill health in 2017/18 was 30.7 million.
What does this all mean?
Put simply, there hasn’t been significant change in the industries where injuries and illness are the most common. Construction and agriculture remain the highest risk sectors, with agriculture, forestry and fishing having the highest rate of risk above all sectors.
The higher risk industries need to take stock of their health & safety procedures and policies, review them regularly and monitor by ensuring they are being followed properly by employees.
Mental health issues are still a major cause of sick leave, with 239,000 new cases being reported resulting in a number of absences relating to working days lost due to anxiety, depression or stress. This shows a much-needed focus on mental health awareness in the workplace, as well as a plan of action to tackle the major issues that impact workers throughout all sectors. For a full breakdown of what you can do to support employees’ mental wellbeing, see our article on Identifying, Managing, and Preventing Stress in the Workplace.
On a more positive note, the UK consistently has one of the lowest rates of fatal injury in the EU, the same can be said of sick leave.
What is the cost to business?
Work-related injury and illness cost business £15 billion, which is only a slight increase from last year’s £14.9 billion. The value of fines due to workplace injury and illness has also increased to £72.6 million, with manufacturing being the most widely-fined industry out of all the different sectors.
For smaller businesses, the fines incurred due to negligence can lead to bankruptcy. This only highlights how important it is to get health & safety right. Although many see the entire process as unnecessarily complex and time-consuming, it is not worth the running the risk of not being non-compliant due to the revised sentencing guidelines one substantial fine could cost you your business.
If you need assistance with a health & safety issue, need a site checking, or an update to your policies and procedures, speak to a H&S expert at Croner on 0800 231 5199
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