No Change In UK Workplace Fatality Statistics

According to results recently published by the HSE (Health and Safety Executive) Britain’s workplace fatality rates remained relatively unchanged since April 2011.

The data has shown that there has been two less deaths this year, down to 173 works suffering from fatal injuries at work, meaning that the fatality rate is the same at 0.6 per 100,000 workers.

Overall fatality rates in England have decreased, with 130 fatal injuries reported. That makes the fatality rate 0.5 per 100,000 workers, compared to 0.6 per 100,000 workers the previous year.

In Scotland and Wales, fatality rates have increased. Scotland has a fatality rate of 0.8 per 100,000 deaths with 20 fatal accidents, compared to last years rate of 0.5 with 14 deaths recorded. 18 fatal injuries were recorded in Wales, resulting in a rate of 1.4 deaths per 100,000 workers – an increase on last year’s rate of 0.8 fatalities per 100,000 workers, with 11 deaths occurring in 2010/2011.

Agriculture Still Claims Highest Fatality Rate

According to the report, some of the most dangerous jobs include agricultural work, recycling and waste work, and construction work. With 33 fatal injuries recorded, the fatality rate of agricultural workers is 9.7 deaths per 100,000. This is an increase on 2010/2011 with a fatality rate of 8.4 per 100,000 workers, with 30 deaths recorded. The rate of fatal injuries to recycling and waste workers is down from 2010/2011, with the rate falling from 8.4 to 4.1 per 100,000 workers, with a total of five fatal injuries recorded this year. The fatality rate of construction workers has stayed the same at 2.3 deaths per 100,000 workers, however 49 fatal incidents have been recorded. That’s one less than in 2010/2011.

Judith Hackitt, the HSE chair, commented:

“Britain continues to have one of the lowest levels of workplace fatal injuries in Europe, part of a long term downward trend. But we must not forget that these are lives cut short, not statistics – every single one of these deaths will have caused terrible grief and anguish for family and friends as well as workmates and colleagues. This is the real tragedy of health and safety failures – lives cut short and loved ones lost. We want employers to focus on the real risks that continue to cause death and serious injury. Protecting people from death and serious injury at work should be at the heart of what we all do.

Richard Evens, commercial training director, at St John Ambulance, stated:

“It is encouraging to see that the number of workplace deaths in the UK has not risen this year, but we are disappointed that the figure has not reduced to 2009/10 levels – a record low – or further. Cutting these figures over the past few years, has been a focus for UK Health and Safety, which is why after an increase last year it is disappointing to see that they remain at a similar level. But 173 deaths is still too many and we hope to see this number come down further over the year ahead. If UK employers are to reduce the number of tragic workplace incidents, it is essential that they have good health and safety processes in place including provide basic first aid training to their staff. These essential skills should be taken more seriously as they genuinely can save lives.

Are You a Stress Head? Work-Related Stress Statistics

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Occupational Stress in the UK

Stress caused or heightened by a person’s occupation is a huge problem in the UK, with more than 200,000 new cases reported each year. This results in a staggering 10.8 million working hours being lost due to absence from work. This causes a substantial financial strain on the economy – in 2005/2006 the HSE reported a cost of over £530million to the British economy, due to illnesses caused by occupational stress.

The number of new cases reported each year has improved in recent years, yet there is still a very real issue that needs to be addressed. Although some occupations are inherently stressful, employers must do more to acknowledge the problem and to minimise the risk of employees being affected by the ailments associated with stress.

Who Is Most at Risk?

With the vast amounts of data collected by the HSE, it is able to establish who is most at risk of suffering from work-related stress.

  • Women are reportedly more likely to be affected by work-related stress.
  • Employees aged between 35-54.
  • Workspaces with 250+ employees are reportedly among the most stressful.
  • Health and social care had the highest number of employees reporting conditions associated with work-related stress
  • Those in the South West of England are more at risk of being affected

What Are the Most Stressful Occupations in the UK?

The five most stressful jobs in the UK are:

  • Teachers
  • Health and social care workers, nurses and social services staff
  • Recruiters, salespersons and marketers
  • Lawyers and solicitors
  • Head chefs

What to Do If You Feel That You Have Been Affected by Work-Related Stress

Occupational stress is a very real issue, and must be addressed by both employers and employees. Symptoms are varied in type and severity, and if not addressed, can escalate into serious mental and/or physical ailments.

If your occupation has been detrimental to your health and wellbeing, it is advisable that you speak to your employer and seek medical attention. By talking to your manager or employer about the issues that cause the stress, you can work together to eradicate the problems, and prevent them from causing further issues.

As with all stress-related illnesses, it can often help to talk through your problems with friends and relatives.

5 Simple Workplace Safety Tips

Every work environment has its own inherent dangers. However, there will often be preventative measures that you can do to dramatically reduce the risk of having injuries in your place of work.

We’ve chosen 5 very simple tips to help you make the working environment as safe a place as possible. These tips can be applied to pretty much any working environment:

1 – When designing the workspace, keep safety in mind.

From the very start, safety should be at the forefront of the whole design process of a workspace. Plan ahead and visualise how people will be likely to use the space. Where will machines be positioned? Where will materials be stored? Will workers be able to move freely?

In addition, if you think about the space in this way, you could actually create a more productive workplace.

2 – Get to grips with how employees use the space.

If you’re responsible for a company’s health and safety, the chances are that you don’t work on the floor. Without being amongst the workforce for a considerable amount of time, you have no way of knowing what the hazards are that need to be avoided.

To find out what areas need to be addressed, in terms of safety, you’ll need to observe the workspace regularly, or rely o feedback from your staff. No one knows about the dangers of their job better than them!

3 – Ensure that all equipment is in good working order.

It is up to the employer to ensure that all machinery and equipment is in safe working order. Regular checks should be made and maintenance carried out on a regular basis. Don’t just meet the minimum requirement for safety checks – there’s no reason not to check more frequently! Plus, if you spot any problems with any equipment, no matter how insignificant the defect may seem, report it immediately and make other workers aware of the defect.

4 – Keep your safety guidelines up to date.

Every business provides safety guidelines to employees, and these must be kept up to date. If new working practices, new machinery or new equipment is brought in regularly, you must update your safety guidelines accordingly.

5 – A clean workplace is a safe workplace.

It is imperative that you keep your workspace clean and tidy at all times. An untidy workplace means that there are unnecessary hazards present, making for an unsafe working environment.

Trade Union Accuses Government of Underestimating UK Workplace Health and Safety

Trade Union Unite recently launched an attack on Government minsters, claiming that workplace health and safety statistics are largely inaccurate and don’t paint a true picture of the UK’s current workplace health and safety track record.

In fact, annual figures released by the Health and Safety Executive are thought to be around 800% short of the true figure. Naturally, this is a great concern. The inaccurate figures are leading to Government ministers calling for cuts within health and safety, as they believe that UK health and safety is better than anyone else. Unite claim that this is nothing more than a myth.

2011 figures released by the Health and Safety Executive reported 171 deaths in the UK as a result of work-related incidents, whereas the figure should have been around the 1,400 mark.

On top of this, it is estimated that between 20,000-50,000 people die each year as a result of occupational diseases, such as mesothelioma, which are caused by negligent exposures to hazardous substances, such as asbestos.

General secretary of Unite highlighted the fact that if cuts do go ahead, the number of injuries and fatalities will increase:

“The Government is hell bent on reducing health and safety regulations and standards. It will lead to fewer inspections, less enforcement and more deaths, injuries and ill-health at work.”

Rather than making cuts, Unite believe that more money needs to be pumped in to health and safety, in order to improve working conditions for employees nationwide.

Britain’s Most Dangerous Jobs

Every job carries its own unique risks, even the jobs you’d least expect. Even the humble office worker is at risk of spilling a hot coffee, being electrocuted by poorly wired equipment or suffering a bad back from sitting down for extended periods of time.

However, there are some occupations that are inherently more dangerous, yet people still take on those risks by carrying out these jobs each and every day.

So, what are the most dangerous jobs in Britain?

Lorry/Commercial Vehicle Drivers

You may be forgiven for thinking that lorry driving is a relatively low-risk occupation. However, this couldn’t be further from the truth. In fact, road injuries are the single biggest killer of workers in the UK. Every year, around 54,000 work vehicles are involved in accidents on Britain’s roads.

Construction Workers

There are around 2.4million construction workers in the UK, and in 2010/2011 there were 50 fatal injuries. It goes without saying that construction workers undergo one of the most dangerous jobs in the country.

There are many different subsectors within the construction industry, each with their own individual risks.

Offshore Oil/Gas Riggers

Workers on offshore oil and gas rigs have an incredibly dangerous job. These rigs are prone to explosions at any time and leave workers with very little option for evacuation.

British oil rigs have been featured in the news of late, with a string of helicopter accidents, during the transportation of workers to the rigs. This is just another of the risks taken by rig workers.

Fishermen

Deep-sea fishermen face huge risks every single day that they’re at sea. Open to the elements and often huge distances away from the safety of land, fishermen certainly have one of the most dangerous jobs in the country.

Bodyguards

Hi profile individuals will often require the services of a professional bodyguard or a team of bodyguards. These highly trained people will have to put their lives on the line to protect the client at all costs. Although there are relatively few deaths, the danger is ever-present.

Firefighters

Perhaps one of the most dangerous occupations we’ve mentioned – firefighters put their lives on the line, unknowing of what dangers lie ahead when they respond to an emergency.

What to do if you have an accident at work

Across the world, workplace injuries are a huge problem, affecting millions of people every year. Staggeringly, in the UK alone, 1.2 million people suffered from work-related illnesses in 2010/2011. This resulted in the loss of around 26.4 million working days, costing British economy in excess of £14bn.

Whatever your place of work, there will be inherent risks, and however much you may think that you will never fall victim to a workplace injury, you can never guarantee that you are out of harm’s reach.

If you are unfortunate to be affected by an injury at work, through no fault of your own, you should seriously think about making a claim against the persons responsible for your suffering and financial losses incurred.

However, there are a few things that you should remember in order to strengthen your case for compensation:

• Immediately following your accident, if possible, you should report the accident to a supervisor or line manager.

• Some companies have a designated first aid representative. Report the injury to them and ensure that it has been logged appropriately. Once you are happy with the description of the accident and all of the details, you should sign the entry.

• See necessary medical attention. If you go to a GP or hospital, make sure that you are able to gain access to the medical notes. Explain your symptoms as fully as possible, so that your medical notes are as detailed as possible.

• Ensure your employer reports the accident to the HSE. This can be done online, over the phone or in writing.

• Check your contract with your employer for details on sick pay.

• If you feel that a similar accident could happen again, make sure you tell your employer, so that they are aware of the potential danger.

Keep hold of any documentation, as it could be beneficial should you choose to proceed with a claim.

Start Your Claim Today with Workplace Claim

Get in touch with Workplace Claim today and speak to one of our helpful advisers. We can talk you through the process and we’ll be with you every step of the way.

We make the whole claiming process as hassle-free as possible and we’ll only claim the maximum amount possible. Our expert staff are on hand to take your call.

Get in touch with Workplace Claim and start your compensation claim today.

Firm Fined After Hand Arm Vibration Syndrome Screening Case

A UK based health screening firm was recently fined for allowing staff, whom did not behold the necessary qualifications, to carry out tests for Hand Arm Vibration Syndrome (HAVS).

Workers from 59 companies underwent screening for the condition, which were performed by inadequately trained staff from Audio Medical Services Ltd. As a result, employers were not given the required information regarding the dangers of HAVS, they were not informed of how the condition can be prevented, nor were they referred to occupational health professionals when the condition arose.

HAVS is caused by the repeated, regular use of hand-held machinery or power tools, which causes circulatory problems in the hand/arm region. The condition is irreversible and has varying levels of severity. Symptoms include pain, numbness, stiffness and reduced manual dexterity.

It can be an extremely uncomfortable condition and can have a hug impact on the everyday lives of those affected by it.

Needless to say, when it was learnt that workers had been screened by unqualified staff from Audio Medical Services Ltd, the case was taken to court and the Cornwall based company pleaded guilty to being in breach of Section 3 (1) of the Health and Safety at Work Act of 1974.

Georgina Speake of the Health and Safety Executive commented:

“AMS’s negligent behaviour meant a significant number of workers have been put at risk of worsening their conditions by continuing with their normal work practices when they should have stopped.”

AMS Ltd were fined £3,200 and ordered to pay courts costs of £5,000.

Family Seek Compensation After Worker’s Fatal Accident

The family of a man who was crushed to death whilst at work are seeking compensation, on the grounds that workers were not properly informed how to safely operate a piece of machinery.

Nazar Hussain worked at the Nestle food manufacturing plant in Bradford when the accident occurred in December 2008. The accident took place when Mr. Hussain’s colleague re-started a piece of machinery, failing to realise that Mr. Hussain was still inside the depalletiser after clearing a blockage of sweet tins.

The Mr. Husseins injuries were fatal, and the 55 year old was sadly pronounced dead at the scene.

The Health and Safety Executive swiftly conducted an investigation into the incident and concluded that Nestle had failed to provide employees with the necessary information regarding the machine’s safety key device. Had this information been communicated effectively, the accident could have possibly been avoided.

In addition, it has been reported that Nestle had received written advice on how to improve health and safety measures for employees using the depalletiser. This advice was not employed.

The firm pleaded guilty to breaching section 2(1) of the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974, at a hearing in Bradford this month. Nestle was fined £180,000 “inexcusable negligence” and was ordered to pay over £40,000 in legal costs.

Forklift Truck Compensation Claims

It is commonly known that forklift truck drivers have a particularly hazardous job. According to statistics released by the Health and Safety Executive, between 2001 and 2005, over 21,000 forklift-related injuries occurred in the UK.

The shocking figures reveal that just under 100 of those injuries resulted in fatalities, whilst around 5,800 were considered major injuries and over 15,000 resulted in workers having to take time off work.

Forklift Accidents Account for 24% of All Workplace Transport Accidents

Of all workplace transport injuries, forklift accidents account for around 24% of them and the vast majority of these accidents are the result of insufficient training and/or supervision. Needless to say, employers and employees alike must do everything they can to minimise the dangers associated with forklift truck driving.

Because of the sheer volume of forklift truck accidents in the UK, the HSE released an Approved Code of Practice (ACOP), which clearly states the minimum legal requirements for forklift truck drivers. The ACOP sets out the requirements of training before anyone can legally operate a forklift truck. Failure to adhere to these standards can result in legal action being taken.

What Are the Causes of Forklift Accidents

There are a huge number of factors that could contribute to a forklift accident – anything from human error through lack of training or tiredness, to faulty equipment. We’ve listed a few of the most common causes, that should be avoided at all costs to reduce the risk of forklift accidents.

Poor Layout of Workplace

• Insufficient room to operate the forklift safely.
• Poor lighting.
• Congestion and overcrowded workplace
• Unnecessary obstructions.
• Other workers in proximity of forklifts.

Human Error

• Insufficient training.
• Tiredness/stress.
• Long working hours resulting in lack of concentration.

Poor Equipment

• Old/broken equipment.
• Lack of safety equipment.

Start Your Forklift Compensation Claim Today

If you’ve been injured in a forklift accident, you could be eligible to make a compensation claim. To find out more, contact Workplace Claim today. Our helpful staff are on hand to advise you on the best course of action.

Get in touch today.

£133,000 fine for Railcare Ltd after death of man, age 53.


A case has finally been settled with a £133,000 fine after the death of a man in 2008.

John Smith had worked at Railcare Ltd for 30 years when he was tragically killed whilst cleaning an axle. After investigation it became apparent that there was a substantial lack of safety precautions and no risk assessment for this particular use of the lathe. Due to the machines age of 25 years, it meant that it came with no interlocking guarding, however there was separate guarding, which could have, and should have been used to protect the user.

Not only had there been no risk assessment for this use of the lathe, but also the lack of guard on the lathe chuck had not been flagged through health and safety processes at the factory. Lathes are notoriously dangerous and every safety precaution possible should be enforced while using them.

Railcare pleaded guilty to the failure of carrying out a sufficient risk assessment, failure to implement a safe system to work the lathe and failing to provide accurate training and safety supervision of the lathe. Although the company had safety procedures on paper, there were no floor supervisors to ensure these practises were being put in place.

Unfortunately due to the lack of care and attention to the health and safety of the company, a man tragically, and needlessly lost his life.