Illness and injuries down, deaths up
The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) has released its statistics for 2010/11. Whilst work-related illness and non-fatal injuries were down year-on-year, there was an increase in the rate of fatal workplace injuries compared with 2009/10.
During the last year, 26.4 million working days were lost as a result of work-related illness or workplace accidents. 84% of these were due to cases of illness, and 16% were due to injuries sustained in the workplace.
1.2 million people reported suffering from a condition either caused or exacerbated by their job. 42% of these were new illnesses that started in the last 12 months.
0.7 million retirees who stopped working more than 12 months ago were suffering from work-related illness.
In England, the HSE successfully prosecuted 551 cases, whilst 129 were prosecuted by local authorities. The average penalty was £35,938. Additionally, 18,290 enforcement notices were issued (up 16% year-on-year).
A total of 171 workers suffered fatal injuries (0.6 deaths per 100,000 workers), and a further 115,379 non-fatal injuries were reported to RIDDOR (462.1 per 100,000). It is estimated, however, that the actual number of workers injured was 200,000, which equals a rate of 710 per 100,000.
50 deaths occurred in the construction industry, 34 in agriculture and 9 in waste and recycling.
Estimates suggest that there were around 8,000 occupational cancer deaths in Britain last year, with around half of these caused by asbestos exposure.
Despite the difficult economic climate, the number of new self-reported cases of work-related stress, depression or anxiety actually fell from 233,000 in 2009/10 to 211,000 in 2010/11.
The North West had the highest number of workplace deaths (25) whilst the North East had the least (6).
However, the highest rate of reportable injuries occurred in the North East (1,200 per 100,000), whilst the highest rate of self-reported illness cases occurred in the South West (4,600 per 100,000).
Take a more in-depth look at the 2010/11 workplace health and safety statistics
You can view the HSE’s full report in PDF format here.