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Written by
on 11 January 2016


 The Stats Are In! How Safe Are Our Workplaces?

Health and Safety StatisticsAs 2015 draws to a close, it’s time to look over the lessons of the one that’s gone past.

And with the latest figures on health and safety having been published by the HSE, we’re curious to see how workplaces have fared, compared to past years. You can take a closer look at them here.

Have we learnt our lessons when it comes to staying safe – or is there a way to go?

Read on and get the scoop.

The big picture – [scp code=”Facebook”]

While plenty of work has been done over the last year to make workplaces safer, inevitably, accidents can happen.

And in the past year, over 600,000 people sustained some kind of injury at work, with a further 1.2 million people getting ill with a work-related disease.

Still pretty significant numbers – but not all illnesses and injuries feature the same. So let’s take a closer look!

Fatal and non-fatal injuries

Fatal injuries are perhaps the most serious health and safety issue that can hit a workplace.

Thankfully, over the past several years, the UK has seen a steady decline in numbers of fatalities, from nearly 400 a year 20 years ago, to 142 last year.

While having better safety measures and greater awareness of risks and hazards has definitely helped, there’s still a way to go.

Non-fatal injuries have also been steadily going down. But it’s telling to see what the most common causes of injuries are: slips and trips took the biggest chunk with 28% of injuries, while handling objects and being struck by moving objects took the rest.

So what can you take away from that?

While things are improving, we can’t afford to be complacent – it’s still important to pay attention to risks and potential hazards in the workplace. This is especially the case as winter comes up, and the possibility of slips and trips could increase in worse weather!

Getting ill

While there were over 516,000 new cases of a work-related illness this past year – that number has gone down from past years. Which is definitely good news.

Still, of these, the two biggest causes of illness were musculoskeletal disorders, and anxiety or depression. Mental health is an area that a lot of workplaces still don’t understand fully – it’s really important to make sure you take the right measures needed for a happy and healthy workplace.

It’s not all bad news though. Cases of asthma and deafness – both big concerns in the construction and other industries – have fallen by at least 60%, which shows just how much taking appropriate safety measures can help.

What has it cost?

Ultimately, illnesses and injuries in the workplace are going to hit businesses right where it matters most – on the bottom line. And with 27.3 million working days lost – that’s a pretty major impact.

In fact, work-related ill health and injury has ended up costing businesses around £14.3 billion in total.

Have you got any questions about the recent statistics, or want to ask what you need to do to keep your workplace safe? Fire away and give us a shout!

About the author

David Cant is a Director at Veritas Consulting. The SME’s favourite go-to consultant for health and safety know-how. Bucket loads of experience. Fluent in practical advice. Solutionist with a brain you can pick. You can find him across social media on Twitter, Facebook and Linkedin.