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The manufacturers' organisation's 2018 report, published this week, shows employees took an average five days off sick last year, compared with 5.2 in 2016 and 5.3 in 2015.
The latest benchmark report covers the calendar year 2017 and the statistics are based on responses from 203 manufacturers employing more than 33,000 staff.
The overall absence rate for the sector was 2.2% of total working time, which is a slight improvement on 2.3% in 2016 and 2.4% in 2015.
Manual workers took an average of 6.1 days sick leave, unchanged from 2016. However, workers in white-collar jobs had an average of three days off work in the latest survey, a slight improvement on 3.1 days in 2016.
The rubber, plastics and chemicals sector had the highest average number of days absent at 5.5 days. The metals sector had the lowest, with 4.7 days per employee.
EEF's annual report shows that the largest companies had the highest absence rates. A sample of companies that employ more than 500 workers reveals that the absence rate was 3.2%. In last year's report, businesses with a workforce of 51 to 100 reported a 2.2% absence rate.
The latest report is the first year that only manufacturing members of the EEF have been sampled. In previous years, the EEF has included data from member businesses that work in the non-manufacturing sector, including renting and leasing of machinery and engineering related consulting.
Terry Woolmer, head of health and safety policy at the EEF, said: "While staff missing work for sickness is inevitable, gathering as much information as possible and comparing company data to wider trends across the sector is essential for tackling absence issue before they grow into a larger concern."
The sectors covered are rubber, plastics and chemicals; metals; machinery; electrical and precision products/equipment; motor vehicles, other transport and equipment; and other manufacturing.
Earlier this month the non-profit organisation launched the Responsible Mining Index 2018 (RMI), which ranks 30 global mining companies on several economic, environmental, social and governance issues and found they scored lowest on working conditions.Research found 331 fatal workplace injuries were reported in the mining sector between 2015 and 2016.
It has proposed to include new exposure limit values for five chemicals in the Carcinogens and Mutagens Directive (CMD). These are: cadmium and its inorganic compounds; beryllium and inorganic beryllium compounds; arsenic acid and its salts, as well as inorganic arsenic compounds; formaldehyde; and 4,4’-methylene-bis(2-chloroaniline). The first three carcinogens are used extensively in sectors such as nickel-cadmium battery manufacture, mechanical plating, zinc and copper smelting, foundries, electronics, chemicals, construction, plastics and recycling.
Recruitment Advisor is a recruitment and employment review website that provides workers with information about recruitment agencies and workers’ rights when they are looking for a job abroad. More than 10,000 recruitment agencies in Nepal, the Philippines, Indonesia, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Hong Kong, Malaysia, Singapore, Taiwan and South Korea are listed on the website, which is currently available in English, Indonesian, Nepali and Tagalog.
Technological Change and the Scottish Labour Market, by the Scottish Government and the Scottish Trades Union Congress (STUC), has called for more workplace control over new technologies to ensure that employees’ safety and health, as well as skills development and workplace security, are guaranteed when new systems are introduced.
B&CE, the non-profit organisation that operates the UK construction industry’s pension scheme, developed the framework in collaboration with an occupational health (OH) steering group made up of employers, OH professionals, regulators and federations. It will form part of its new digital OH management model that aims to detect ill-health effects at an early stage.