Health & Safety

Don’t Be A Statistic – Health & Safety in our Region

When it comes to Health & Safety in the workplace, we’re talking big business: the overall cost to UK employers of workplace injuries and illness is over £14 billion per year. That’s a lot of slips and trips! Whilst statistically, larger organisations are likely to have a greater number of incidences of injury or ill health at work, smaller organisations are less likely to have the correct health & safety controls and policies in place, and are therefore putting themselves at a disproportionately high risk of having to deal with the consequences of something going wrong.

In the East of England alone there were nearly 2300 injuries to workers last year, according to data from the Health & Safety Executive. Let’s take a look at some of the statistics for our region in more detail. The cost of workplace illness in the East of England in 2013 was a staggering £676 million, and the cost of workplace injury was still an eye-watering £416 million. These figures just take into account new cases of illness or injury and don’t include those that have carried over from the previous year.

Unsurprisingly, if you break down the number of workplace injuries by industry sector, we find that a large percentage of these occur in the construction industry, with 158 reported injuries last year. The service sector accounted for the second most number of injuries at 137, although this sector does cover a broad spectrum of occupation types. Manufacturing accounted for 104 injuries, 70 in Energy, Recycling & Waste, 57 in Agriculture, Forestry & Fishing and just 4 in Mining & Quarrying.

When we think of accidents at work, we most likely think of falling off ladders, or a slip or trip on a factory floor. Indeed these are the two most common kinds of incidents reported in our region, with falls from height and slips and trips accounting for 134 causes of injuries each last year. But there are a whole host of other reported accidents, usually caused by poor health & safety management, and often avoidable. These include contact with machinery, lifting and handling, being struck by a vehicle or moving object and physical assault, all of which recorded incidences of between 70 and 110 last year. Less common, but nevertheless extremely serious, accidents include contact with electricity (14), exposure to explosion (7), exposure to harmful substances (14), drowning or asphyxiation (2) and exposure to fire (18).

Whilst thankfully most accidents at work tend to be minor and cause no long-term injury, last year there were 11 fatalities as a result of workplace injury, working out at 0.4 fatalities for every 100,000 workers. Although this is a slight increase on the previous year (9 fatalities) it is significantly less than the 5-year average of 15 per year, so we can hope that we are seeing a downward trend as we strive to make our working environments safer. Again, these figures are specific to the East of England.

As well as injuries in the workplace, illnesses caused in the line of work are also an extremely serious issue with approximately 110,000 new or ongoing cases of self-reported illness caused or made worse by work in our region alone last year. Asbestos-related illness, respiratory issues, hand-arm vibration, noise-induced hearing loss, work-related skin disease and musculoskeletal disorders are some of the debilitating illnesses that workers may suffer. But, in addition to these, you may be surprised to learn that stress accounts for a large proportion of work-related illnesses. Last year there were 40,000 cases of self-reported stress, depression or anxiety caused or made worse by work in the East of England. It has been found that stress is more prevalent in public service industries, such as education, health and social care with the key triggers cited as workload pressures, including tight deadlines too much responsibility and a lack of managerial support.

The statistics may make uncomfortable reading and experts agree that more thought should be given to the provision of awareness and training, particularly to small and medium-sized businesses to help reduce their incidences of workplace accidents and illnesses. Keeping up to date with new regulations will not only help reduce the risk of prosecution for non-compliance but also help ensure best practices.

Whilst it’s essential to invest in your Health & Safety Management, it’s better to have the correct systems and policies in place now, rather than risk the safety and well-being of your employees and the financial burden it may bring if you haven’t got it right. And of course, a safe and healthy workforce means better productivity and better results for your business in the long run so don’t let your employees become a health & safety statistic.

Not sure where to begin? Start by exploring our Health & Safety Services and discover how we can provide ongoing support for your business. #StrongerTogether. 

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Saul HunnaballSaul Hunnaball
15:44 12 Aug 22
We have worked with Park City for our HR and Health and Safety support for many years now and have always received an excellent service.Carley is our Consultant and she is always so helpful, as are... her colleagues when she is unavailable.I would highly recommend Park City.read more
Lea CuttingLea Cutting
08:31 27 Jul 22
Park City have worked with us for many years, advising and guiding us regarding HR and Health & Safety, along with supplying valuable training.We work with many people in several areas of expertise,... Sara Godfrey, Jennie Galione, Ashley Williams, Sam Parcell, Stephanie Devans, Poppy Hayhoe.They build confidence within our company and are always available with support and advice.They provide a consistent, professional, hands-on service, second to none!Thank you from DH Industries Limited.read more
Vikki PringleVikki Pringle
11:12 20 Jul 22
The team at Park City offer us the right level of service needed to confidently run a small business. They keep us up to date with UK policy HR requirements, help us manage any staff changes or... issues and policy documents. The team are informed, friendly and remain professional in my experience.read more
Tracy MeadTracy Mead
07:12 20 Jul 22
The DS Group have been working with Park City now for a number of years and we have found their HR services to be invaluable. The service received is always to the highest professional standards and... they have assisted our business in becoming more efficient and effective in all HR matters.My consultant Sam Parcell is always on hand to help answering any questions quickly and professionally and she offers vital guidance, advice and support to us.We as a company will continue to use Park City’s services for many years to come and we cannot recommend them enough!Tracy Norton-Mead, Operations Director at the DS Group.read more
Katie HerbertKatie Herbert
13:35 07 Jul 22
We have worked with Park City for almost 10 years and have built up a great professional relationship over the years. The team are so friendly and helpful, and nothing is ever too much of an ask for... any of them. Our main HR contact is Carley, who is lovely, and she is very prompt in dealing with any queries we have regarding our 100+ staff. We would highly recommend their services for any local business.read more
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