The number of injuries and incidents of ill-health in workplaces across Great Britain is still too high says the Health and Safety Executive (HSE), with construction one of the highest-risk sectors.
The HSE’s annual report includes statistics for work-related ill health, workplace injuries, working days lost, enforcement action taken, and the associated costs to England, Wales and Scotland.
Figures show that around 581,000 workers sustained non-fatal injuries in 2018/2019, with 1.4 million workers suffering from work-related ill-health.
The statistics, compiled from the Labour Force Survey (LFS) and other sources, revealed the following:
- 147 fatal injuries at work
- 8% of fatal injuries were as a result of falls from height
- 25% of fatal injuries were to workers over the age of 60, who make up 10% of the workforce
- 1.4 million working people suffering from a work-related illness
- 364 cases were prosecuted and resulted in a conviction
- fines from convictions totalled £54.5m
- 28.2 million working days lost due to work-related illness and workplace injury
The estimated economic cost to Great Britain during this period totalled £15bn, with construction and agriculture remaining among the highest risk sectors.
Gary Walpole, NFRC’s Safety, Health & Environmental Officer voiced his concern at the statistics:
“Although there have been no reported fatalities among NFRC members in the past five years and our accident rate is six times less than the construction average, the latest statistics released by the HSE continue to be a cause for concern.
“One of the most worrying parts for me is the rise in fatalities of workers over the age of 60 in all industries, which is a sure sign that we have an aging workforce.”
He added that working with the HSE and other stakeholders in the NFRC Health & Safety Committee, the Federation aims to provide its members and the wider roofing industry with the latest safety guidance.
The NFRC also fully supports the Staying Alive: Preventing Serious Injury and Fatalities report published by the Working at Height All-Party Parliamentary Group in February 2019. Among the recommendations were enhanced reporting through RIDDOR, backed by an independent body to enable more confidential reporting of near misses.
“However, we believe that different parts of the construction industry must come together to drive culture change. This is why the NFRC is partnering with other organisations within the Access Industry Forum (AIF) to find ways to get the safety message out more effectively.”