Last year’s HSE stats and what we can learn from them

The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) has released the statistics and figures from 2018 with regard to accidents, incidents, injuries and illnesses in the workplace. What do the figures show us?

There are 600,000 people suffering from workplace stress

This figure includes long-standing and new cases of where people feel unable to do their job due to stress. A small amount of stress can drive us on to achieve goals and whilst this and short-term stress may not be an issue, when it builds into a problem, businesses and the economy pay the price.

Half a million workers suffered from some kind of musculoskeletal disorder

Again, a figure that includes previous and new cases, it seems that there is still work to be done around the ergonomics of workstations, as well as possibly manual handling training. 18% related to lower limb issues, 42% to upper limbs or the neck and 40% related to back injuries. The industries with the highest rates of these kinds of injuries were the construction industry and agriculture, forestry and fishing.

Sick days are still high with 30.7 million days lost to ill-health

But this is always a case of balance. Whilst we don’t want to lose work days to non-productivity, NHS campaigns and other health forums have been more vocal in recent years about not going work with contagious illness, from the common cold to flu.

The effects of exposure to asbestos are still being felt

There were 2,595 deaths in 2016 relating to Mesothelioma, cancer caused by exposure to asbestos dust or fibres. Likewise, there were 12,000 deaths relating to lung disease attributed to exposure to noxious substances at work, the vast majority of which was historic exposure from years previously.

There are over a million worker suffering from work-related ill-health

1.4 million people, a mix of new and outstanding cases, are suffering ill effects from being at work.

144 workers didn’t go home to their families…

And another half a million people received non-fatal injuries at work, many of which may have been life-changing. The reasons why people are hurt have not dramatically changed from previous years. Slipping, tripping or falls on the same level account for a third of all injuries. Handling, lifting or carrying heavy objects was the second most likely reason for injury, followed by being struck by an object, falling from height and worryingly, 7% of injuries were caused by acts of violence. However, the rate of injuries at work is decreasing year on year.

Workplace injuries and ill-health are costly for the employer and the economy

Employers face a collective cost of £3 billion for workplace injuries, whilst the cost to the individual is twice that at £8.6 billion. For the UK Government, the cost is just over £3 billion. These figures are the result of lost working days as well as the cost of sick pay and benefits. The cost of healthcare is not included.

The HSE continues to press on to make work safe for everyone. What major health and safety issues do you see affecting your business?

How can we help you?

If you are in need of assistance with any aspect of Health and Safety management, here at Synergos we’d be delighted to help. Whether you have questions or are looking for advice and support to maintain standards, call 01484 666160 or Email and we’ll be happy to talk it over with you.

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Steve Kilburn
Steve Kilburn
I initially trained as an industrial chemist working in a variety of manufacturing environments eventually moving into quality management which grew to encompass environmental and occupational health and safety management systems. I hold a Masters Degree in Health and Safety law and Environmental Law and a Post Graduate Certificate in Sustainable Waste Management and I am a Graduate Level Member of the Institution of Occupational Safety and Health (IOSH). In my spare time I enjoy reading, my favourite author is Stephen King, and listening to music, generally from the late 70’s, 80’s and 90’s.
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