The HSE’s 2016/2017 UK health and safety statistics have now been released, and they tell us a lot.

Taking a look at the nation’s health and safety statistics can give you insights into your own health and safety performance. It is an opportunity to take stock, make changes and improve.

HSE Health And Safety Statistics 2017 - What We Can Learn. ADL Associates

Summary findings:

The following health and safety statistics identify that, generally, improvements need to be made in the following areas:
• RIDDOR Reporting;
• Risk assessing the most common causes of workplace injuries (listed below);
• COSHH (Control Of Substances Hazardous To Health);
• Stress management;
• Prevention of musculoskeletal orders, e.g. DSE and manual handling awareness;
• General management of health and safety – to ensure you don’t get prosecuted. Prosecution fines are now even more devastating; especially to large businesses (see details below).


Adrian’s thoughts on the HSE health and safety statistics

After an interesting conversation with Adrian Lee, Managing Director of ADL Associates and Chartered Health and Safety Consultant, on his many thoughts about these statistics, here’s his top comment:

’31.2 million days lost for ill-health and injury equates to an approximate national cost of £14.9 billion in lost days. Isn’t it sad that in today’s efforts to make money we can’t even get basic health and safety right?’

If you are struggling with any of the above areas, please contact us for more advice.

Workplace Injuries

If your business operates within any of the following industries, then your industry was found to have a significantly higher rate of non-fatal workplace injuries:
• Agriculture, forestry, fishing,
• Construction,
• Transport/storage,
• Accommodation/food services,
• Public admin/defence,
• Wholesale/retail.

The most common causes of workplace injuries were:
• Slips, trips or falls on same level;
• Lifting /handling;
• Struck by object;
• Fall from height;
• Acts of violence;
• Contact with machinery;
• Strike against something fixed/stationary.

There were over 70,116 RIDDOR reported injuries, but according to self-reports there were actually an estimated 609,000 injuries to workers. Trends in self-reported injuries at work have levelled off in recent years after a long term fall. This suggests that many RIDDOR reportable injuries are not being reported by employers.

There were an estimated 5.5 million working days lost due to non-fatal workplace injuries between 2016 and 2017.

Work related Ill-health

The highest rate of work related ill-health was seen in the following industries:
• Healthcare and social work;
• Agriculture, forestry and fishing;
• Public admin and defence;
• Education.

The main causes of both work related ill health and for lost days were:
• Stress, depression or anxiety – main cause was high workload, followed by lack of support, violence/threats/bullying, and changes at work.
• Musculoskeletal disorders – main causes being manual handling, awkward or tiring positions and repetitive actions. Most commonly affected areas were upper limbs and neck, and back.
• Other (including occupational lung disease)

25.7 million working days were lost due to ill health last year. There has been a flat trend since 2011.

There are 13,000 deaths each year linked to exposure at work (dust and chemicals).

Prosecution Statistics

There was a fall in prosecution cases, but a surge in the amount of fines issued – £69.9 million in fines from 554 prosecution cases! That’s an average of £126,173 per fine! This is due to new sentencing guidelines. As of this year the fine issued is related to an organisation’s turnover, and therefore larger companies are seeing much larger fines.

To see sources and definitions and to see the full 2016/2017 HSE health and safety statistics go to the HSE website.

If you have any concerns relating to the information in this article, then please contact us.