Many businesses ask “Why is health and safety training important?”
Each year a significant numbers of workers are injured or made ill by their work. This imposes a ‘human cost’ (in terms of the impact on the individual’s quality of life and for fatal injuries, loss of life), as well as ‘financial’ costs, such as loss of production to due absence from work, and healthcare costs.
In fact in 2015/2016:
and in 2014/2015 there was £14.1 billion in estimated cost of injuries and ill health from current working conditions!
You can find out more by reading Health and safety at work – Summary statistics for Great Britain 2016.
Fatal injury statistics for 2015/16
The figure for the number of workers fatally injured in 2015/16 is 144, and corresponds to a rate of fatal injury of 0.46 deaths per 100,000 workers.
The figure of 144 worker deaths in 2015/16 is 7% lower than the average for the past five years (155). The latest rate of fatal injury of 0.46 compares to the five-year average rate of 0.52. The finalised figure for 2014/15 is 142 worker fatalities, and corresponds to a rate of 0.46 deaths per 100,000 workers. Over the latest 20-year time period there has been a downward trend in the rate of fatal injury, although in recent years this shows signs of levelling off. There were 67 members of the public fatally injured in accidents connected to work in 2015/16 (excluding incidents relating to railways, and those enforced by the Care Quality Commission).
Workplace Ill Health statistics for 2015/2016
Ill health from stress, musculoskeletal disorders, cancer, asbestos-related disease, respiratory disease, deafness, skin disease and vibration-related disease can cause deaths, poor health and lost work days.
The latest results show that:
- Around 13,000 deaths each year from occupational lung disease and cancer are estimated to have been caused by past exposures at work, primarily to chemicals and dusts.
- An estimated 1.3 million people who worked in 2015/16 were suffering from an illness they believed was caused or made worse by work. Of these, 0.5 million were new cases which started in the year (LFS).
- Around 80% of self-reported work-related conditions were musculoskeletal disorders or stress, depression or anxiety (LFS).
- The estimated rate of self-reported work-related ill health, and specifically musculoskeletal disorders, showed a generally downward trend to around 2011/12; more recently the rate has been broadly flat. The rate for stress, depression or anxiety has been broadly flat for more than a decade (LFS).
- The majority (85%) of new cases of work-related ill health reported by participating GPs in the THOR-GP surveillance scheme, during 2013-2015, were musculoskeletal disorders or mental ill health (THOR-GP).
- In 2015/16, an estimated 25.9 million working days were lost due to self-reported work-related illness (LFS).
- Estimated working days lost per worker due to self-reported work-related illness showed a generally downward trend up to around 2009/10; since then the rate has remained broadly flat (LFS).
The stats above make difficult reading however it brings into focus the need for health and safety training as an absolute must.
Health and Safety Training
Providing health and safety training helps you to:
- Helps to ensure that you or your employees are not killed, injured or made ill by the work they do;
- Develop a positive health and safety culture, where staff understand the importance of health and safety and that safe and healthy working becomes second nature to everyone;
- Assess your workplace risks and manage health and safety better;
- Meet your legal duty to protect the health and safety of your employees;
- Avoid the financial costs of accidents and occupational ill health.
It’s important to remember that insurance doesn’t cover all losses. The result can be damaged products, lost production and demotivated staff.
The law requires that you provide whatever information, instruction and training is needed to ensure, so far as is reasonably practicable, the health and safety of your employees.