Whilst the UK has one of the safest environments in which to work, with realistically, very low incidents of fatalities, fatal accidents still occur and are generally focused into a few industries and with few causes.
Data from the HSE (Health and Safety Executive) for 2021/2022 detail that during this period there were 123 workplace fatalities reported.
These deaths are broken down in order of the industry where the fatality occurred:
- Construction: 30
- Agriculture/Forestry/Fishing: 22
- Manufacturing: 22
- Transport and Storage: 16
- Administration and Support: 12
- Wholesale/Retail/Motor Repairs/Accommodation/Food: 11
- Waste and Recycling: 1
- Others: 9
As you can see, every single industry has had fatalities.
How many accidents and illnesses?
During 2021/2022 the HSE have advised that there were 441,000 (reported) injuries sustained at work.
In addition, the following statistics make for grim reading
- 7 million working people suffering from a work-related illness, of which
- 822,000 workers suffering work-related stress, depression, or anxiety
- 470,000 workers suffering from a work-related musculoskeletal disorder
- 93,000 workers suffering from COVID-19 which they believe may have been from exposure to coronavirus at work
- 2,544 mesothelioma deaths due to past asbestos exposures (2020)
- 51,211 injuries to employees reported under RIDDOR
What type of incidents occurred?
There is a continuing theme of the types of incidents that occur, indeed, they could almost be predicted from year to year.
- Falls from height: 29
- Struck by a motor vehicle (not road traffic collision): 23
- Struck by moving object: 18
- Contact with moving machinery: 15
- Trapped by something collapsing / overturning: 14
- Other: 24
You can see that controls could prevent, or minimise, these incidents: having a fall arrest system, vehicle and pedestrian separation, machinery guards, safe systems of work.
None of this is cutting-edge risk control – they are all tried and tested systems
What is the cost of these events?
The cost of these incidents is truly astronomical, even excluding the loss of life and life changing injuries sustained.
Statistics from 2018/2019 confirm that incidents at work resulting in injuries and death accounted for the loss of over 38.8 million days.
The cost of this is an astonishing £16.2 Billion.
Aren't we insured through?
Yes – but not for everything. There are lots of uninsured elements following an incident at work, including:
- Costs of doing the injured person’s work
- Interviewing of witnesses
- Not being able to access parts of your business – or sometimes any of it
- Report writing
- Amending or rewriting Risk Assessments
- Assisting HSE, insurers, loss adjusters, solicitors
And then the HSE may charge £124 per hour from the moment they become involved in a case until completion – this charge is sent to you as the company – and involves all their time from attending at your company, to writing letters, and researching.
Indeed, if a case is found, the HSE can charge retrospectively for all their time they have spent creating this case against you.
Why and how is this important to me?
If you consider the significant costs of a fatality, or even a reportable accident, happening at your place of work the costs can be immense – both in terms of money, time and reputation.
By having good risk management controls in place, you can feel more comfortable that the chances of an incident occurring are significantly reduced, and if it does happen you will be in a much better position to support the investigations and defend yourself.
Towergate risk management can provide support to help you develop your risk management controls to enhance your health and safety compliance.
Health and safety should not be a hindrance to your business, it can help it to become slicker and more efficient. Think about it – less staff sickness, less or no injuries, no worrying if the HSE turn up for an inspection, you’ll potentially get more insurers wanting your business which may lead to better terms.
How Towergate can help
We have so much confidence in the quality of our risk management consultancy and health and safety partners, that we can arrange for them to act as your competent person.
To find out more contact your Towergate adviser.
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