It’s that time of the year again!
The HSE recently released their annual Health and Safety statistics for 2018/2019, and they’re not for the faint-hearted.
The first shocking figure is the number of workers killed at work which was reported at 147, an increase of six fatalities since 2016/17.
On a more positive note, this statistic is drastically lower than the 495 worker deaths reported in 1981 and remains steady for the last few years. Although it would be great to see this figure decreasing year on year, and it is certainly something that the HSE would like to achieve, there has been substantial success in getting to this point.
If we look closer at these numbers and drill down into where the fatalities are happening and why, we can see that agriculture, forestry and fishing and construction remain the two industries with the highest number of worker deaths.
There is also consistency in the causes of these fatalities with the five main types of fatal accidents in the workplace being:
- Falling from height
- Being struck by a moving vehicle
- Being struck by a moving object
- Becoming trapped by an object that has collapsed or overturned
- Contact with moving machinery
Some other interesting statistics from this report reveal that 1.4 million people suffered from a work-related illness, 69,208 injuries to employees were reported under RIDDOR and 28.2 million working days were lost due to work-related illness and workplace injury.
How does this report impact businesses?
The purpose of this annual report is to remind business owners, employers and workers how important it is to put health and safety first in the workplace.
These numbers, and the emphasis they put on the sheer reality of what happens when health and safety is not appropriately managed in the workplace, should act as a massive wake up call for businesses.
Even if you work in an industry that doesn’t appear on this list and is deemed relatively ‘safe’ such as in an office environment, there are always risks and hazards that you need to be wary of and there are always actions you can take to keep your employees safer than they already are because, remember, all it takes in one mistake to cause a potentially fatal accident.
As a starting point, ask yourself the following:
- When is the last time my business conducted a health and safety audit?
- Are my health and safety policies up to date and in line with current legislation?
- Do I need a Fire Risk Assessment or a COSHH Risk Assessment?
- Should I consult a professional and qualified Health and Safety Consultant to ease my mind?