Latest workplace injuries figures just published by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) for the period April 2011 to March 2012 show a slight fall in overall accident rates. However, a closer look at the number of working days lost and the likely impact on accident compensation claims reveals a marginal percentage increase.
There was still an estimated 1.1 million people who claimed they,“Were suffering from an illness caused or made worse by their work”, of which, 452,000 were new illnesses that occurred within the HSE survey period.
It is also highly probable that injury claims figures would reflect the rise in the number of working days lost through injury and ill-health, from 26.6 million in the period 2012-11 up to 27 million in the last 12 months. Of these, still 4.3 million days were lost just to injuries alone caused in the workplace.
The slight variance in yearly figures appears to make little difference to specific industries where accident and illness rates remain largely unchanged. Despite constant improvements to health and safety legislation, which are designed to protect the workforce, common types of accidents are reported almost daily and culpable companies receive heavy fines in court for negligence or a lack of proper risk assessment.
According to the HSE survey, the industries considered the highest risk and in which workers are most likely to suffer injury or ill health as direct result of their occupation, include:
While falls from height and accidents involving unprotected machinery are regularly in the news, the survey statistics for the occurrence of other types injuries are a reminder of the everyday accident risks that can take place at work.
In the last 12 months, 22,433 major injuries, including most notably fractures burns and amputations, were commonly reported to have been suffered by employees.
While the overall number was slightly down on the 2010/11 total of 24,944, the rate still accounts for 89.90 injuries per 100,000 workers. In a separate report, RIDDOR state that there were another 111,000 other injuries across the UK workforce.
Click here to read more statistics from the HSE Annual Report at the HSE website.