Figures realised by the UK’s Health and Safety Executive (HSE) show that Great Britain is one of the safest places to work in Europe. The headline figures realised for 2013/2014 state:
- 133 fatal injuries a fall from 150 the previous year.
- 77,593 other injuries reported under The Reporting of Injuries, Diseases and Dangerous Occurrences Regulations 2013 (RIDDOR). That equates to 304.6 injuries per 100,000 employees.
- An estimated two million people in 2013/14 suffering from an illness they believed was caused or made worse by current or past work.
This is good news, but we will always need to strive to improve on these figures - the 133 workers that incurred fatal injuries have families, friends, and co-workers who will have suffered unimaginably by their deaths.
Judith Hackett the Chair of the HSE stated:
“These latest figures remind us what health and safety is really about. We should remind ourselves what these numbers actually mean the number of times in the last year someone went out to work and either did not return home to their loved ones or came home with life changing injuries.
“The health numbers also demonstrate the scale of harm being done to people’s health while at work, too often leading to premature death.
The HSE have identified the highest risk business sectors, which are:
- Construction (1900 major/specified injuries)
- Agriculture (292 major/specified injuries)
- Manufacturing (3159 major/specified injuries)
- Waste and recycling (486 major/specified injuries)
Bren Moore, Operations Director at Astutis commented:
"As the UK increasingly moves towards a knowledge and finance based economy it is worth reminding ourselves of the huge potential for serious injury and illness that remains in the traditional high risk employment sectors. Effective hazard identification; sensible, proportionate risk management; and focussed leadership are critical to achieving further reductions in the damage done to the UK workforce”
Those that think Health and Safety management is costely, a burden, a paperwork exercise should heed Judith’s further statement:
“Jobsworths using ‘elf n safety as a convenient excuse for all manner of things, and those claiming health and safety is a burden, need to reflect on this. Britain has one of the best health and safety systems in the world, but that is cold comfort to those who have suffered loss or suffering that is so easily avoided with sensible and proportionate risk management.
“We all need to commit to focussing on what really matters ensuring more people return home from work every day and enjoy long and healthy working lives.”