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HSE Publish Workplace Injury And Fatalities Stats That Still Do Not Provide Accurate Figures

Today, the HSE issued the usual figures workplace injury illness and deaths, based mostly on the Labour Force Survey of 30, 000 households with only a 60% response rate from those living in these private homes.

The HSE press release follows:

The number of injuries and incidents of ill-health in workplaces across Great Britain is still too high, new statistics show.

The annual report by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) includes statistics for work-related ill health, workplace injuries, working days lost, enforcement action taken, and the associated costs to Great Britain.

Figures show that around 581,000 workers sustained non-fatal injuries in 2018/2019, with 1.4 million workers suffering from work-related ill-health.

The statistics, compiled from the Labour Force Survey (LFS) and other sources, illustrate that in Great Britain in the 2018/2019 period there were;

+ 147 fatal injuries at work
+ 1.4 million working people suffering from a work-related illness
+ 364 cases were prosecuted and resulted in a conviction; fines from convictions totalled £54.5 million
+ 28.2 million working days lost due to work-related illness and workplace injury

The estimated economic cost to Great Britain totalled £15 billion in 2017/2018.

There have been no significant changes to industries in which there is a higher risk of sustaining an injury while at work, with construction and agriculture still amongst the high-risk sectors.

Despite Great Britain continuing to be one of the safest places to work, the reported figures highlight there are still areas to be improved upon to prevent fatalities, injuries and ill-health. The figures highlight the scale of the challenge HSE currently faces in making Britain a healthier and safer place to work.

In response to the report, Martin Temple, HSE Chair, said:

“Great Britain’s position as one of the safest places to work should be a point of pride for us all, but these figures show there is still much to be done to ensure workers go home both healthy and safe."

Pic: HSE's Martin TempleHe added:

“These figures should highlight to us all the vital importance of managing risk and promoting behaviours to improve the standard of good health and safety practice in the workplace.

“We must all share the responsibility of ensuring everybody is aware of what they need to do to work right by preventing work-related incidents, and making our places of work healthier and safer for everyone.”

However, as frequent as these figures are dolled out by the HSE, the Health & Safety community of Union Safety Reps and organisations such as Hazards and the TUC; dispute these figures as being only the tip of the iceberg.

Take for example one of the key sources of workplace illness and days off as a result - RIDDOR.

We all know this is not accurate and that the Tories have changed the reporting period of sick leave from 3 to 7 days!

So illnesses coursed by work less than 7 working days are not counted, and when you consider the high level of people returning to work earlier than advised and before they have fully recovered due to pressure from the employer; these figures in the HSE Statistics are in reality, far higher!

There are of course other workplace injury figures that are not counted. Traveling to and from work or for work, is just one example, that Hazards have identified as not being collated in these 'official' statistics. This also makes any comparison with figures from other EU countries less accurate or indeed useful, despite what is claimed by the HSE and Governments.

Hazards has produced a document, The Whole Story, which argues that the HSE annual workplace injuries and deaths statistics are inaccurate, and that the reality is, 'that far more workers than officially reported suffer appalling working conditions, that put them at risk of injury, death or illness, at huge cost to themselves, their families and the economy.'

You can download the Hazards document from the Unionsafety E-Library here

The full annual injury and ill-health statistics report for 2018, can also be found in the Unionsafety E-Library in the section 'HSE Reports / Documents'

Source: HSE / Hazards / Unionsafety

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