Injuries and ill health can never be fully taken out of the equation, but with 28.2 million working days lost due to work-related ill health and non-fatal workplace injuries in 2018-19, more could be done to keep people safe and well while at work.
Illness and ill health
The latest statistics from the HSE show a mixed picture for illness. In 2018-19 there was a reduction in the rate of self-reported work-related illness, particularly in terms of musculoskeletal disorders, but the figures remain high with 1.4 million cases. Of this, 0.6 million were cases of stress, depression or anxiety, while 0.5 million were related to musculoskeletal issues.
Of all the industries, public admin and defence, human health and social work, and education displayed statistically higher rates of ill health compared with the rate for all industries.
The figures for work-related injuries also remain high despite improvements over the last few decades. Since 1974 there has been an estimated 84% reduction in the number of fatal injuries while at work; however, over the last few years the long-term declining trend has flattened out and in 2018-19 there were still 147 injuries that ended in a loss of life.
In contrast, rates of self-reported and employer-reported injuries show a recent as well as a long-term downward trend. Nevertheless, the numbers reported by the HSE are still too high, with another 0.6 million workers sustaining a non-fatal injury in 2018-19. This continues to be costly for employers, with 4.7 million working days lost according to self-reports from the 2018-19 Labour Force survey.
Improving health and safety at work
Putting systems into place that can reduce risks, improve safety and cut absenteeism can not only make workplaces safer and healthier but also have a beneficial impact on your bottom line.
An ISO 45001 is the internationally recognised standard for occupational health and safety management. It can demonstrate to your employees, clients and suppliers that you have a best-practice system in place, reducing the likelihood of accidents and any breaches of legislation.
Putting a management system into place may seem daunting but QMS can support you through the process and set you on the path to gaining a recognised certificate of occupational health and safety management.
To find out more, read our ISO 45001 page, or call one of our experienced Consultants on 0330 032 3738.