Health & safety professionals will more-than-likely have a story to tell you about a health & safety blunder they have experienced first-hand or heard about from the news in 2018. These one-off accidents are normally put down to a risk that could’ve been quite simply resolved - and they serve as a reality check that we must take health & safety very seriously.
But what can we interpret from the compilation of British health & safety statistics from 2018 that the HSE have recently shared? Is the nation progressing with the installation of health & safety procedures, or are we getting worse at showing our due diligence to health & safety-specific legislation?
2018 Health & Safety Statistics
We’ll analyse good news and then move on to the bad news...
The good news
Firstly, the average health and safety breach in 2018 resulted in a £6,300 fine. This average is calculated through £72.6 Million worth of fines spread across 11,522 reported issues. This statistic makes you think: Why risk NOT being health & safety compliant in the first place?! However, there was still a decrease in the amount of health & safety issues reported - and alongside the new sentencing guidelines increasing potential fines (and boosting the sum of this figure), we consider this a step forward to the previous year.
Additionally, there were 30.7 million working days lost in 2017/18, which is a lot, but if you compare that with the year beforehand, we’ve saved around half a million working days.
The bad news
Firstly, cases of work-related ill health have remained at a seemingly flat rate - with 1.4 million people suffering from either a new or long-standing case, which is about 1/25 working people in Britain. Additionally, this has caused around 26.8 million working days to be lost last year alone!
Secondly, 144 workers were killed on the job in 2017/18, which is an increase to 2016/17’s 137. A workplace death is unacceptable; nobody should have to go to work and worry about losing their life. This could be seen as a big step backwards in the progress of creating safer workplaces.
Finally, cases of work-related stress seem to have increased dramatically to the previous year. An additional 69,000 workers are suffering from work-related stress, which has also lead to 2,900,000 additional working days being lost. Mental health in the workplace is a topic that must be taken more seriously by employers. Mental health issues can be just as harmful as physical health issues. In fact, it even makes financial sense to invest in employee’s mental health - as for every £1 spent, you’ll see an average return of £4.20!
You can see the rest of the statistics on the HSE website.
The role of Workplace Health & Safety training
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