Health and safety is one of the most important things within a workplace because if no procedures are put in place to protect you or your employees from injuring themselves or even worse this could lead to heavy fines by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE). In some cases where it has been a serious issue involving misconduct regarding the regulations businesses have been fined as much as £75,000.
To give you a sense of how these injuries happen take a look at the list of facts and figures all about workplace health and safety listed below:
- Ill health
- In 2013/14 an estimated 1.2 million people, who worked in the last twelve months suffered from ill health which they thought was work related*
- Work-related stress is now the most common type of work-related illness (244,000 new cases) and gives rise to the most working days lost (11.3 million). There were 184,000 new cases of musculoskeletal disorders and this accounts for 8.3 million working days lost.
- There were 6140 new cases assessed for industrial injuries disablement benefit (IIDB), of which two-thirds were lung related diseases.
- In 2009 and 2010 there was an increase solely due to osteoarthritis of the knee in miners and carpet/floor fitters, which was added to the prescribed diseases list in July 2009 (23 500 cases in 2010, falling to 735 in 2013).
- The next largest categories were vibration white finger, carpal tunnel syndrome and respiratory diseases associated with past exposures to substances such as asbestos and coal dust.
- Apart from asbestos-related disease, the trend in numbers is generally downwards.
- The annual number of work related cancer deaths is likely to be more than 8000.
- About 4500 cancer deaths each year are due to past exposure to asbestos.
- In 2012, there were 464 deaths from asbestosis (as underlying cause), and 151 from other types of pneumoconiosis, mostly due to coal dust and silica.
- Around 15% of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD – including bronchitis and emphysema) may be work related. This suggests there could be some 4000 COPD deaths each year due to past occupational exposures to fumes, chemicals and dusts.
- The annual number of mesothelioma deaths has increased from 153, in 1968, to 2535, in 2012.
Deaths and injury
- 283 people have died in the workplace over the last two years.
- There were 77 593** non-fatal injuries to employees reported in 2013/14 (provisional). Of these injuries, the most common kinds of accident were caused by slips and trips (28%), handling, lifting or carrying (24%), and being struck by moving objects (10%).
- There were 80 368 non-fatal injuries reported in the previous year. (As the reporting regulations changed in October 2013 (that is, mid-way through the 2013/14 year), direct comparison of the latest year with the previous year should be avoided).
Deaths in the workplace – 2013/14
- Agriculture: 27
- Construction: 42
- Waste and recycling: 4
Working days lost
- 28.2 million working days were lost in 2012/13, 23.5 million due to work-related ill health and 4.7 million due to workplace injury
- The cost of injuries and ill health is estimated at £14.2 billion from current working conditions, £4.6 due to injuries and £8.6 due to ill health (2012/13)
*Labour Force Survey (LFS)
** Reporting of Injuries, Diseases and Dangerous Occurrences Regulations (RIDDOR)