Although the UK is statistically one of Europe’s safest places to work, too many employees are still being hurt, or becoming ill, due to accidents at work.
A total of 28.2 million working days succumbed to illness or work related injuries throughout 2013/14, the Health and Safety Executive found – breaking down to a cost of £14.2 billion to the economy.
Health and Safety Executive chair Judith Hackitt highlighted the reality of these figures – that behind every number there was someone who had suffered harm simply as a result of going to their work one morning.
Aside from smaller issues which might require a personal injury claim, the most sobering statistic of all was the 133 fatal injuries suffered over the period under assessment, although this was down from 150 recorded over the previous 12 months.
A total of 77,593 people sustained serious injuries, which breaks down to 304.6 per 100,000 workers.
Around two million people said they had suffering from an illness during the period which they believed had been triggered or worsened through their place of work.
The types of work which most commonly lead to injury have not changed much over the years; with construction, agriculture and waste and recycling topping the lists.
Construction was by far the biggest cause of accident, with 1,900 major injuries.
Ms Hackett said that the figures serve as a stark reminder of what health and safety is all about, and show that harm caused at work can all too often lead to an employee’s early death.
Date Published: November 1, 2014
Author: David Brown