What are the HSE Statistics reports?
The Health and Executive (UK) produces an annual report of Health and Safety statistics.
This publication is very useful for health and safety practitioners to get an overview of current illness and injury in the workplace. We want to provide you access to these documents and encourage the use of them in prioritising workplace risk controls.
The obvious business-related motivation to look after the health, safety and well-being of your employee’s is that it inevitably enhances trust, productivity and loyalty.
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Of course, people with health problems of any kind are more likely to be absent from work and potentially less productive when in work. They are also much more likely to leave if the company was in some way responsible.
When you take a look at the figures across all industries, yes, the numbers appear significant. It should be acknowledged that the data across Great Britain should be considered in the context of the working population (around 34 million people!). Even so, when talk about 1.4 million work-related ill health cases, it’s easy to understand the magnitude of impact on the economy.
How were the HSE statistics for 2019?
There were slightly less RIDDOR reportable, non-fatal injuries (69,208) compared to 2017/18 (71,062). However, there were slightly more fatalities (147) compared to the previous twelve months (144).
Most of the others figures stayed very similar. Notably, the number of working days lost decreased by almost 10%, from 30.7 million (2017/18) to 28.2 million (2018/19). It’s important to know that these figures are very high-level and do not take into account important variables, such as number of hours worked.
You can check out some of the ‘Key Facts’ in the following image (extracted the HSE Statistics report).
Source: Health and Safety Executive, 2019
Injuries are sometimes that first thing that get attention, but health problems are also extremely common, as shown by the latest HSE statistics:
- 1 in 4 UK employees have a physical health condition
- 1 in 8 have a mental health condition
- 1 in 10 has a musculoskeletal condition
- 33% of those with a condition say it is long-term
- 42% of those with a health condition say that it affects their work
Most of the above conditions may not have been initially or directly caused in the current working environment. But, it’s important to consider that an employer must not aggravate or significantly worsen any pre-existing illness or injury.
As you can see from the ‘Industries’ summary (adjacent) on ill health and injury at work in the snapshot, there is significant variation from sector to sector.
It is clear that certain sectors e.g. construction and agriculture, are more prone to higher levels of injury, whereas others e.g. social work, report greater levels of work-related ill health.
Within each sector, there are specific causes that are recurring and predictable across each reporting period.
The detail within each sector report can be used to help you prioritise preventative actions for your business. The HSE are pushing businesses to focus on significant risk, and these statistics may help to show the long-term risk profiles for businesses similar to your own.
You will find more detail on some of the most recent injury and illness figures in the HSE statistics summaries below – these are useful for strategising and also for your internal health and safety communications with your workforce.