New health and safety statistics released

Greg Davies

Greg Davies
Director of Market Development, Assurity Consulting
20th July 2017

These include:

  • 137 workers killed at work (2016/17)
  • 72,702 other injuries to employees reported under RIDDOR
  • 1.3 million working people suffering from a work-related illness
  • 621,000 injuries occurred at work according to the Labour Force Survey
  • 2,542 mesothelioma deaths due to past asbestos exposures (2015)
  • 30.4 million working days lost due to work-related illness and workplace injury
  • £14.1 billion estimated cost of injuries and ill health from current working conditions (2014/15)

​Initial review of the figures looks like the overall trends in each area have remained consistent with those for the results published last year.

  • Over the previous reporting period the number of workers killed was 142, so while the trend has somewhat plateaued over recent years the result is a further reduction. The same is true for injuries reported under the Reporting of Injuries, Diseases and Dangerous Occurrences Regulations (RIDDOR), which in 2014/15 were 76,000.
  • Both people suffering from a work-related illness and those injured at work increased slightly (they were 1.2 million and 611,000 respectively)
  • Previous exposure to asbestos leading to people dying from mesothelioma was only 4 more than the previous period. The longer term figure for deaths associated with mesothelioma has also remained relatively static at between approx. 2,300 and 2,500.
  • The reported number of days lost due to work related ill health rose by over 3.1 million on the previous reported figure.  However the estimated economic cost dropped from a £14.3 billion (2013/14) to £14.1 billion (2014/15) – these figure lag by a year.

​Yes these figures need improvement, especially in certain sectors and we need to strive to make it so, but overall health and safety in the UK remains at one of best managed in the World, and it doesn’t happen by accident. It will be interesting to see what effect, if any, the change in sentencing guidelines for health and safety offences has with the increase it fines and liabilities for organisations and their directors. Hopefully further improvements will be based on a cultural rather compliance mindset.