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Some 30.4 million working days were lost to injury or ill health in 2015-16: 25.9 million days due to work-related illness and 4.5 million days due to workplace injury. This is up from 27.3 million in the previous 12 months is the highest since 2007-08.
Over two-fifths (539,000) of the 1,311,000 workers with work-related illnesses had MSDs. The number of new cases of work-related MSDs in 2015-16 was 176,000. The incidence rate of 550 cases per 100,000 workers is not significantly different from the previous year and has been mainly static for the last five years.
A further 488,000 workers were suffering from work-related stress, depression or anxiety, a prevalence rate of 1,510 per 100,000. The number of new cases was 224,000, an incidence rate of 690 per 100,000 workers. The number and rate have been broadly flat for more than ten years.
The main factors cited by LFS respondents as causing work-related stress, depression or anxiety were workload pressures, including tight deadlines, too much responsibility and not enough support from managers. The HSE found stress was more widespread in public service industries, such as education, health and social care, and public administration and defence.
Stress, depression or anxiety, and MSDs accounted for the majority of days lost due to work-related ill health -- 11.7 million and 8.8 million days respectively.
LFS data revealed that an estimated 621,000 self-reported non-fatal injuries occurred in 2015-16 (a rate of 2,030 per 100,000 workers, broadly level over the last five years). Of these accidents, 152,000 resulted in absences that exceeded seven days.
There were 72,702 employee non-fatal injuries reported by employers under RIDDOR (the Reporting of Injuries, Diseases and Dangerous Occurrences Regulations), down from 76,000 in the previous 12 months.
As reported in IOSH Magazine in July, there were 144 fatal workplace injuries in 2015-16 reported to the HSE and local authorities compared with 142 in the previous year. Despite a long-term downward trend in the rate of total injury, the HSE said it is beginning to show signs of levelling off. Over a quarter (26%) of workplace deaths were accounted for by falls from height.
The economic cost of work-related injuries and illnesses in 2014-15, excluding long latency illness such as cancer, was £14.1bn. Work-related illness attributed to £9.3bn of this total (an equivalent of £17,600 per case). Workplace injuries made up the remaining £4.8bn (equivalent to £1.6m per fatal injury and £7,400 for every non-fatal injury). This figure has been broadly level since 2010-11.
Announcing the release of its latest statistics, the HSE tweeted: "With stats like these [-¦] ask yourself if your firm's health agenda can be improved #helpgbworkwell."
Commenting on the figures, HSE chair Martin Temple said: "We should all be proud of Great Britain's health and safety record. However, there is more to do, particularly in tackling work-related health, from which everyone can benefit."
Figures obtained by law firm Clyde & Co under the Freedom of Information Act show that the HSE prosecuted 46 company directors and senior managers in the 12 months to 31 March 2016, compared with 15 in the previous 12 months. In contrast, the number of employees prosecuted by the HSE dropped from ten last year to one in 2015-16. Thirty-four of the 46 people prosecuted were found guilty and this resulted in 12 prison sentences – the longest of which was two years.
Business secretary Greg Clark, who moved the debate in the House of Commons on 7 November, said: “No one […] should think that we have any intention of eroding the rights that we enjoy in this country through our process of leaving the European Union. We will be using the legislation before this House to entrench all existing workers’ rights in British law, whatever future relationship the UK has with the EU.”
David Roscoe, a plant controller at the company’s now decommissioned power station in Alloa, Scotland, was engulfed in high-temperature steam and severely burned while inspecting a faulty drain valve in October 2013. The valve opened unexpectedly, releasing high-pressure steam.
A memorandum of understanding has been signed between the Building and Wood Workers’ International (BWI) and the Qatari Supreme Committee for Delivery & Legacy.The agreement, signed in the Qatari capital Doha, allows joint inspections of construction sites and workers’ accommodation from January. It covers World Cup projects built by companies headquartered in countries where BWI operates. These are Austria, Belgium, Cyprus, India and Italy.
In 2015-16 fatalities at work, including those in areas that are the responsibility of local councils, were down 48% to 12 compared with 23 in the previous year. There was one fatality in general manufacturing, one in health and two in other work activities. Farm-related deaths were down from nine to six and construction fatalities fell from five to two, one of which involved a member of the public. “Zero fatalities, as was achieved in 2009, has to be the industry objective,” the report says of the construction sector.
The regulator has released a document, Helping Great Britain Work Well: Commitments, which lists what individual employers and other bodies are doing, and will do, to help reduce work-related deaths, ill health and injury. The strategy was published in March this year following a consultation in December 2015, when the HSE encouraged the whole of industry to participate in order to improve standards.