HSE Annual Health and Safety At Work Statistics for GB Report 2018/19
Further to LTB 418/19 dated 5 July 2019 (HSE Annual Workplace Fatal Injury Statistics Report 2018/19), the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) has now published its full annual statistics report covering work-related ill health, work-related stress, depression or anxiety, work-related musculoskeletal disorders, occupational lung disease, workplace injury, costs to GB, industries breakdown, European comparisons and enforcement statistics including prosecutions, enforcement notices and fines.
The fatal statistics released earlier this year and confirmed in this latest report show an annual increase in the number of fatal accidents at work and also a rise in the number of reported cases of worker injuries and ill-health.
The HSE annual statistics show 1.4 million workers were suffering from work-related illnesses and around 581,000 sustained non-fatal injuries in 2018/19. This is up from 555,000 reported cases in 2017/18.
Work-related stress, depression and anxiety cases have risen to 602,000.
Musculo-skeletal disorder cases are up – rising to 498,000.
The number of working days lost due to work-related illness and non-fatal workplace injuries was 28.2 million working days.
The total number of workplace fatal injuries has again risen from 144 to 147.
Workplace injury and new cases of ill health costs Britain £15.0 billion a year.
Despite repeated Government and HSE claims that the UK is the safest place to work in the EU, the key figures for Great Britain show that in 2018/19 there were:
- 147 workers killed in fatal accidents at work.
- 1.4 million working people suffering from a work-related illness.
- 602,000 workers suffering work-related stress, depression or anxiety.
- 2,526 Mesothelioma deaths due to past asbestos exposures.
- 12,000 work-related lung disease deaths.
- 581,000 non-fatal injuries to workers.
- 498,000 workers suffering from work-related musculo-skeletal disorders.
- 69,208 injuries to employees reported under RIDDOR.
- 12,000 lung disease deaths linked to past chemical or dust exposure at work.
- 28.2 million working days lost due to work-related illness and workplace injury.
- 364 cases prosecuted by the HSE.
- 11,040 Enforcement Notices served.
- £54.5 million in health and safety fines paid by convicted offenders.
- £15 billion annual cost of work-related injuries and ill health from working conditions (2017/18).
The number of injuries and incidents of ill-health in workplaces across Great Britain is still too high, these new statistics show. Martin Temple, HSE Chair stated that ‘there is still much to be done to ensure workers go home both healthy and safe. The figures highlight the vital importance of managing risk and promoting improved standards of good health and safety in the workplace and ensuring everybody is aware of what they need to do to work right by preventing work-related accidents and making places of work healthier and safer for everyone.’
The statistics confirm the scale of the challenge the HSE faces in making the nation a healthier and safer place to work and shows that a huge improvement is required to prevent deaths, injury and ill health in the workplace. The statistics serve as a reminder to employers of the importance to manage risk and undertake good health and safety working practices in the work place in order to ensure that every worker goes home at the end of their working day safe and healthy. These incidents still affect too many lives every year.
These statistics could look far worse as a more accurate and inclusive set of figures would include 50 workers killed at sea and in the air, 600 workers killed in road traffic accidents whilst working, 300 members of the public killed by work activities.
Heavy year on year cuts to Government funding of the HSE has undoubtedly, in the Trade Unions’ view, made workplaces less safe and influenced the rise in deaths at work reported for the year. The increase in workplace deaths may be the continued sign of the effect of years of budget cuts and reductions in inspections, Enforcement Notices issued and prosecutions, filtering through. The Government cuts to health and safety funding will gradually, increasingly impact on workers. The latest increase in reported workplace deaths reported by the HSE undermines the complacent and ever-repeated statement rolled out ‘parrot-fashion’ by Government Ministers and HSE ‘top brass’ that “The UK has the best safety record in the world and one that is the envy of the world.’ The reductions in the HSE’s and Local Authorities’ ability to inspect workplaces are now being widely brought into question. In every aspect of life, you get what you pay for and the UK Government is paying less money and therefore there’s less attention being paid to workplace safety year on year.
A copy of the HSE Official Health and Safety At Work Summary Statistics for GB 2018/19 is attached.
National Health, Safety & Environment Officer