Latest figures published by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) state the numbers of employees suffering from work related illness rose from 1.2 million to 1.3 million in the 12 months to 31 March 2016.
Of these illnesses around 80% were classified as either musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs) which are typically related to manual handling activities, and poor ergonomics in the workplace, and psychological illness such as stress, depression or anxiety, that can be caused or made worse by a range of workplace pressures and working conditions.
Over 30 million working days were lost to injury or ill health in 2015-16: 25.9 million days due to work-related illness and 4.5 million days due to workplace injury, representing an annual rise of nearly 10% which is the highest since 2007-08.
The figures; based on the government’s quarterly Labour Force Survey (LFS) and used by the HSE and used as part of their annual statistical publication cite work-related stress, due to workload pressures, including tight deadlines, too much responsibility and not enough support from managers, and particularly noteworthy.
The cost to the economy, in terms of lost productivity, care and support, of work-related injuries and illnesses in 2014-15, excluding long latency illness such as cancer, was stated as £14.1bn.
Work-related illness attributed to £9.3bn of this total (an equivalent of £17,600 per case). Workplace injuries made up the remaining £4.8bn (equivalent to £1.6m per fatal injury and £7,400 for every non-fatal injury).
Announcing the latest figures, the HSE tweeted: “With stats like these, ask yourself if your firm’s health agenda can be improved” HSE chair Martin Temple added: “We should all be proud of Great Britain’s health and safety record. However, there is more to do, particularly in tackling work-related health, from which everyone can benefit.”
Pernix Safety Management echo these thoughts; injury and illness are not acceptable and enviable consequences of work. Health and safety hazards and risk can, and must be managed effectively in all workplaces. We urge all employers to make the review and improvement of their health and safety arrangements a key priority for 2017
|Pernix Safety Management - Director – Alan Hurst C.M.I.O.S.H
Registered Office – Peterborough, Cambs, PE3 6FB
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