Health & Safety: 2018 in numbers

The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) recently released 2018’s statistics for the state of Health & Safety at work, and it’s quite a meaty publication. So, to save you trawling through the 13-page document, here’s a snapshot of what their findings uncovered.


Work-related ill-health

In 2017/18 alone, 1.4 million workers suffered from work-related ill-health, and stress, depression or anxiety (44%) and musculoskeletal disorders (35%) were the main new and long-standing causes. The effect? 26.8 million working days were lost.


Stress, depression and anxiety

More than half a million (595,000) workers dealt with work-related stress, depression or anxiety, and this alone costed UK businesses 15.4 million working days. The most common contributing factors were:

  • Workload (44%)
  • Lack of support (14%)
  • Violence, threats or bullying (13%)
  • Changes at work (8%).

By sector, education, human health and social work and public admin/defence were the worst impacted industries.


Workplace injuries

The good news is that fatal injuries, self-reported non-fatal injuries and non-fatal injuries reported by employers are all on a downward trend. The bad news is that numbers are still high.


In 2017/18 alone:

  • 144 workers were killed at work;
  • 555,000 non-fatal injuries were self-reported;
  • 71,062 injuries were reported by employers under RIDDOR; and
  • 9 million working days were lost.

When it comes to non-fatal injuries in the workplace, the main culprits behind the figures include: slips, trips or falls on the same level; handling, lifting or carrying; being struck by an object; falling from a height; and acts of violence.


The cost of Health & Safety

Getting Health & Safety wrong continues to collectively cost the nation billions every year – £15 billion, to be precise. Ill-health (65%) dominates more than a third of the figure, with injuries (35%) making up the remainder.


A word from us

Pete Doyle, Head of Health & Safety Services, spoke of the stats:

“Every injury at work is regrettable. As organisations of all sizes begin to implement meaningful steps and practices to minimise incidents occurring in the first place, the better the long-term Health & Safety of workers will be.

The HSE – and other enforcement bodies – continue to focus on workplace-related injury, which has aided in raising awareness. Therefore, we continue to see a reduction in injuries and this can only be beneficial.

However, we are now beginning to see more Health rather than Safety issues being highlighted by enforcement bodies which means that all organisations must continually strive to monitor and improve in these areas as well.”



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