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Health-and-safety

HSE Releases 2015/16 Health and Safety Statistics

February 2, 2017

The HSE recently published its 2015/16 annual health and safety statistics report, which provides a way for your business to review how it fares in regard to the rest of the country. By examining the mistakes of the previous year, your business can better adapt your health and safety policy in order to more adequately protect your employees. Here are six key figures from 2015-2016:

  1. An estimated 500,000 individuals were diagnosed with an illness that they contracted through their workplace environments, which is slightly more than last year. Also similar to last year, an estimated 800,000 workers reported that a pre-existing health condition had been exacerbated or worsened due to their workplace conditions.
  2. More than 30 million working days were lost due to work-related ill health or injury, which is an average of 16 days off work, 20 days for ill health cases and 7.2 days for injuries. Stress, anxiety, depression and musculoskeletal disorders accounted for the majority of the days lost due to ill health.
  3. RIDDOR reported that the number of injuries suffered by employees fell by 3,298. However, the number of other self-reported workplace injuries increased by 10,000 last year—from 611,000 to 621,000, according to the Labour Force Survey. The three most common nonfatal injuries that were reported included handling, lifting or carrying (20 per cent); slips, trips or falls (19 per cent); and being hit by a moving object (10 per cent).
  4. Whilst the number of self-reported workplace injuries fell this past year, the number of deaths increased from 142 to 144. Although slight, this increase is reflective of the rest of the report’s statistics, which also demonstrates a minor decline in workplace health and safety.
  5. Workplace injuries and new cases of ill health cost the British economy an estimated £14.1 billion—nearly identical to the previous year.
  6. Out of the 696 cases involving health and safety breaches, 660 led to convictions of at least one offence. Additionally, the fines collected for these convictions totalled £38.3 million. With a conviction rate of 95 per cent, health and safety prevention must be made a priority, because if your business is prosecuted, it is very likely that you will be convicted. Whilst the report only documents monetary penalties, a conviction carries with it other costs—such as reputation damage.

Despite the fact that a majority of the figures outlined in the report saw a slight improvement over the past year, health and safety should still be top of mind. To help ensure that your health and safety scheme is thorough and comprehensive, periodically inspect your business to identify any hazards, and discuss with your employees what risks they regularly face to better address any potential issues.

Additionally, if you are interested in examining the 2015/16 health and safety statistics report in its entirety, you can view it at: http://www.hse.gov.uk/statistics/overall/hssh1516.pdf?pdf=hssh1516.

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