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HSE Stats on Injuries at Work – How Safe are the Nation’s Workplaces?

HSE stats on injuries at work – how safe are the nation’s workplaces?

Certain workplaces can be dangerous places. Even with the right safety systems in place, accidents can and do still happen. There are so many types of injury that can happen in the workplace, but the most common include:

Slips, trips and falls – These account for almost a third of all workplace injuries and they can result in broken bones, cuts, sprains, pulled muscles and back injuries. They are caused by wet or oily surfaces, loose flooring or flooring with incorrect traction, obstructed views, uncovered cables, poor lighting, uneven surfaces or drawers not being closed properly.

Moving machinery – Machinery that doesn’t have the proper guards is another safety hazard. Body parts or clothing can get stuck in the moving parts of the machine and the results can be catastrophic. The majority of accidents occur in businesses where machinery is used to cut, shape, bore or form material when using systems that move such as pulleys, belts, rods, couplings or flywheels or any other machine that can move or rotate.

Transport and vehicles – Where employees need to operate equipment or drive large trucks or vehicles there is always the potential for accidents such as becoming stuck or being run over by a moving vehicle, falling out of the vehicle or being struck by falling objects.

Fire and explosion – Unexpected fires can occur in the workplace, specifically in an industry where a fault in electrics or gas lines can cause this type of workplace accident.

Repetitive stress – Musculoskeletal injuries can occur from repetitive work and these form the largest segment of workplace injuries.

Workplace Injury Statistics

Between 2017 and 2018, the Health and Safety Executive recorded:

  • 1.4 million people who suffer from an illness related to their work
  • 2,595 deaths from mesothelioma due to exposure to asbestos in 2016
  • 144 deaths in the workplace
  • 555,000 workplace injuries as reported by the Labour Force Survey
  • 71,062 injuries recorded under RIDDOR legislation

The total cost of injuries and ill health from working conditions at the present time between 2016 and 2017 was £15 billion.

There are lots of steps that employers can take to reduce the occurrence of workplace injuries and illnesses. One of these strategies is through suitable signage. Placing safety signs around the workplace and particularly in high risk areas is one of the best ways to draw people’s attention to the risks, no matter how small they may seem. It can also encourage employees to take greater care, reducing the risk of accidents and injuries in the workplace.