Latest figures from the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) show a 28% increase in worker injuries year- on-year and a steep increase in ill health compared to pre-pandemic levels.
o 914,000 workers suffering work-related stress, depression or anxiety
o 477,000 workers suffering from a work-related musculoskeletal disorder
o 123,000 workers suffering from Covid-19 which they believe may have been from an exposure at work.
Stress, depression and anxiety remain the leading causes of work-related ill health, accounting for 51% of all ill-health cases. While there has been a 17.5% drop in new cases, overall cases have increased by 11.2%, with over 17 million working days lost as a result.
Sector-wise, human health, social work and public administration were found to have the highest rates of work-related ill health. Notably, education remains third with 59% of all ill-health cases related to stress, depression and anxiety.
According to the HSE’s figures, there was a total of 123 work-related fatalities between April 2021 and March 2022, compared to 145 the previous year. Although this is lower than last year’s rate, the difference is not statistically significant.
Having performed poorly over the last five years – with a fatal injury rate 11 times higher than the industry average – the waste and recycling sector reported just a single fatality in 2021/22. The construction sector, as well as agriculture, forestry and fishing also had rates which were down on previous years.
But while some sectors are becoming safer, others recorded more fatalities than usual. In particular, the manufacturing sector saw 22 deaths in 2021/22, up from 19 the previous year, and the transport and storage sector saw an increase of 5 deaths, from 11 to 16.
The five main causes of fatal injury have remained the same for many years and this year is no different with “falls from height” continuing to be the leading cause. “Being struck by a moving vehicle” and “being struck by a moving object” remain the second and third most common cause of work-related fatality.
By accident type, the report reflects previous years. Handling, lifting or carrying, and being struck by a moving object remain the leading causes of non-fatal work-related injuries, closely followed by falls from height and work-related violence. Slips, trip and falls, though, are at the same level as previous years.
o Demands – are there issues with workload, work patterns, etc.?
o Control – how much say do people have in the way they do their work?
o Support – do employees receive the encouragement, resources and support they need?
o Relationships – are you promoting a positive working culture?
o Role – do people understand their role and are the responsibilities and expectations clear?
o Change – Upheaval and uncertainty can lead to anxiety and stress and how the organisation manages and communicates change is key.
For more information, please contact Kathryn Quinley
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