Almost half of injuries sustained at work may not be reported
The most recent annual statistics for 2019 from the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) show that whilst Great Britain remains one of the safest places to work, it is still hugely important for employers to manage risk and make operational improvements to prevent fatalities, injuries and ill-health of their workers.
Key figures from the HSE’s ‘Health and safety at work: Summary statistics for Great Britain 2019’ reveal that injuries to workers are still prevalent across all major industries:
1. 147 workers were killed at work in 2018/19.
2. 581,000 non-fatal injuries were sustained by workers according to the Labour Force Survey 2018/19.
3. 138,000 of these injuries resulted in employees missing work for at least 7 days, yet only 69,208 reports were submitted under RIDDOR.
4. Injuries and ill health from current working conditions cost the UK £15 billion in 2017/18.
5. 28.2 million working days were lost due to work-related illness and workplace injury in 2018/19.
6. Of this, 23.5 million working days were lost due to work-related ill health.
Are employers accurately reporting workplace injuries?
An estimated 4.7 million working days were lost in 2018/19 as a result of 581,000 people sustaining non-fatal injuries at work during this period, according to employees who self-reported injuries via The Labour Force Survey. The annual cost of workplace injury in 2017/18 totalled £5.2 billion.
Under Reporting of Injuries, Diseases and Dangerous Occurrences Regulations 2013 (RIDDOR), employers are legally obliged to report certain workplace injuries (including those where an employee is prevented from working for seven days or more due to injury), accidents or near misses.
Of those injured in 2018/19, 138,000 people were off work for at least seven days, yet only 69,208 RIDDOR reports were submitted for the same period. This leaves just under half of the 138,000 injuries as potentially unreported – breaching health and safety regulations and suggesting that many employers are operating non-compliant processes and are failing to safeguard their workforce appropriately.
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