The number of major workplace injuries - amputations, fractures and burns - fell to an all-time low this year, according to the HSE’s 2012/13 health and safety statistics. The 2011/12 figure of 22,094 major injuries was slashed by 11 per cent between April 2012 and March 2013, falling to 19,707. Other key annual figures from the 2012/13 health and safety statistics report include the following:
- 148 workers were killed at work.
- 78,000 other injuries were reported under RIDDOR.
- Workers endured 175,000 injuries that resulted in absences of more than seven days.
- More than 1 million people were suffering from a work-related disease in 2011 and 2012.
- Twenty-seven million working days were lost due to work-related illness and workplace injury.
- Workplace injuries and ill health, excluding cancer, cost society about £13.8 billion in 2010/11.
While there was a general reduction in injuries and fatalities, the most likely causes of workplace injuries and the industries with the most injuries experienced little change. The most frequent causes of injury are still manual handling, slips and trips and falls from height, and the agriculture, construction and transport industries still have the highest rates of injury. You can read the HSE’s full report at www.hse.gov.uk/statistics/index.htm.
The statistics corroborate a general downward trend in workplace illness, injury and death. However, the HSE laments that the prevalence of easily preventable workplace deaths and injuries is still too high. Continuing to drive down the number of workplace injuries, especially those that are easily preventable, requires a concerted effort from all your employees.
Business owners and managers help set the tone for workplace safety, so make sure it is a positive one. Rather than sending a punitive message, convey a sense of accomplishment for current reductions in workplace illness and injury and express optimism for continued safety and success. Share positive steps toward workplace wellness, such as this year’s all-time low number of major workplace injuries, and educate your employees about the general landscape of workplace health and safety in the United Kingdom. Use knowledge and guidance from Bollington Risk Management to bolster the health and safety programmes at your organisation.