The HSE recently released their annual Health and Safety statistics for 2018/2019, and you should take the time to have a look through these in more detail, but we’re going to break down some of the most interesting figures.
There has been a slight increase in the number of workers killed at work with the figure now sitting at 147 for 2016/17 whilst, the previous year, it was at 141. This is drastically less than the numbers we were seeing 30+ years ago which were around 495 worker deaths a year; however, it’s still important that we continue to push this number down and not get complacent.
When we analyse these numbers more closely and look at where these fatalities are occurring and why, we can see that the sectors with the highest number of fatalities remain the same: agriculture, forestry and fishing, construction and manufacturing.
If we then look at the fatal injury rate, which is the number of fatalities per 100,000 workers, then there is a slight shift in the top three sectors: agriculture, forestry and fishing, waste and recycling and construction.
Hence, these industries are where the risk of a fatal accident are highest so health and safety should be a top priority and concern if you work within one of these three areas.
The top causes of fatalities in the workplace have remained consistent for the last few years:
- Falling from height
- Being struck by a moving vehicle
- Being struck by a moving object
- Becoming trapped by an object that has collapsed or overturned
- Contact with moving machinery
The top three alone accounted for 60% of all fatal injuries in the workplace in 2018/19 which means that these are particularly important areas for employers to focus their attention on when it comes to managing health and safety.
There are several control measures that you can put in place to avoid such accidents including providing your employees with the appropriate training, conducting a general and task specific risk assessment, and ensuring that health and safety signs are displayed around the premises.
Another important figure to be aware of is the number of deaths from mesothelioma, which is a type of cancer most commonly caused by exposure to asbestos. The figure from 2017, is 2,523 and, seeing that mesothelioma takes several years to develop, it’s highly unlikely that this number will change over the rest of the decade.
Some other interesting statistics from this report reveal that 1.4 million people suffered from a work-related illness, 69,208 injuries to employees were reported under RIDDOR and 28.2 million working days were lost due to work-related illness and workplace injury.
How should you use this report to enhance health and safety in your workplace?
The purpose of this annual report is to remind business owners, employers and workers how important it is to put health and safety first in the workplace.
These numbers, and the emphasis they put on the sheer reality of what happens when health and safety is not appropriately managed in the workplace, should act as a massive wake up call for businesses.
Even if your workplace hasn’t been involved in any fatalities or serious injuries, you should still be ensuring that your workplace is fully compliant with health and safety legislations at the bare minimum.
- Have you got an up to date Fire Risk Assessment?
- Are your employees trained to Work At Height, carry out Manual Handling, or work with Asbestos?
- Are you CHAS accredited, or considering completing a SafeContractor application?
- Does your workplace have a First Aid Kit and Accident Book?
These are just some of the questions you need to ask yourself in order to make sure that you are doing your duty, as an employer and business owner, and due diligence when it comes to managing health and safety in the workplace.
Our Health and Safety Consultants are on hand to help and support you should you need it. They can offer unlimited advice via our Safety Advisory Service and they can assist you with any health and safety documentation from Risk Assessments and Method Statements to Health and Safety Policies.
With us by your side, you can rest assured that all your health and safety matters are being well taken care of and you and your employees are safe from harm.
For more information, speak directly to one of our consultants by calling us today on 0121 348 7828