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Health and Safety Statistics For 2020: What Do They Tell Us?

May 17th, 2021

Last updated: August 4th, 2022

The UK continues to have one of the best records in the EU for fatal injuries and work-related absence through ill health, but recent statistics released by the Health & Safety Executive (HSE) for 2019/20 show that there is still work to do across the board to improve the UK’s health and safety performance.

In terms of fatal injuries, the UK recorded just 111 during the 2019/20 period, and the UK has consistently had one of the lowest standardised rates of fatal injuries across the EU. Eight years ago in 2013, the UK levels were the same as countries with a comparable large economy, but now the UK has a rate of 0.52 fatal injuries per 100,000 employees. This is less than Germany, Poland, Italy and Spain, with France recording the highest figure with 3 in the same period.

Headline Findings in the HSE Safety Figures

Another headline finding in the recently-released figures relates to self-reported work-related health problems resulting in sick leave. Here the UK has 1.9% of workers, which is the joint lowest with Italy, and the figures show Poland with the highest figure in the EU of 7.7%. The EU average was 3.7%.

In total 1.6million people suffered from work-related illness in 2019/20 and 65,427 injuries were reported under RIDDOR. Combined, these resulted in 38.8million working days lost due to work-related illness and injury, a huge blow to the economy. The estimated cost of this was an eye-watering £16.2billion.

This shows there is huge improvement still to be made, and the figures also highlight emerging trends and where evidence of improvements can be seen in the future. There were 0.8million cases of work-related stress, depression and anxiety during 2019/20, which were either new or long-standing cases. There were also 0.5million work-related musculoskeletal disorder cases. And whilst the 111 fatalities may be heralded as a relative success compared to other countries, the overall figures in the report do highlight work-related trends which offer much food for thought.

12,000 people died during 2019/20 from a lung disease estimated to be linked to past exposure at work, whilst 2,446 people died in 2018 from mesothelioma, thought to be due to a past exposure to asbestos. This highlights the need for strong and robust ventilation systems and safe procedures of work related to asbestos removal and how exposure is identified and managed.

Improving Your Health and Safety Record

In terms of industry sectors, cases of ill health were found to be significantly higher in public administration and defence, human health and social work and education. Whilst significantly higher injury rates were found in agriculture, forestry and fishing, construction, accommodation and food services, manufacturing and wholesale and retail trade.

Whatever industry sector you work in, Robinsons Facilities Services can talk to you about air conditioning and ventilation, about health monitoring and about safe working systems relating to electrical work, water systems and fire safety. We have vast experience in working with customers to implement systems and procedures to improve their health and safety record, which ultimately protects their employees and directly improves operating efficiencies and their financial figures.

Contact us today and see how we can help you stay health and safety compliant in your business.

Working across Yorkshire, we cover North Yorkshire, West Yorkshire, East Yorkshire and South Yorkshire and offer a fast, efficient response time to all breakdowns and repairs. Contact us today for all planned, reactive maintenance or emergency call out.

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