Statistics released today show that Great Britain is still one of the safest places in the world to work with the lowest number of deaths on record. However, more than half of Britain’s working days lost in 2019/20 were due to mental ill-health.
The annual report by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) includes statistics for work-related ill health, workplace injuries, working days lost, enforcement action taken, and the associated costs to Great Britain. The emergence of COVID-19 as a national health issue at the end of final quarter of 2019/20 does not appear to be the main driver of changes seen in the 2019/20 data, although it is possible that COVID-19 may be a contributory factor. HSE has been at the heart of work across government for getting Great Britain’s workplaces Covid Secure. As part of HSE’s response to COVID-19, it has continued to support the wider health response through working closely with National Public Health Bodies, Local Authorities and local health teams. Figures show that around 693,000 workers sustained non-fatal injuries in 2019/2020 and 1.6 million workers suffering from work-related ill-health. The statistics, compiled from the Labour Force Survey (LFS) and other sources, illustrate that in Great Britain in the 2019/2020 period there were;
111 fatal injuries at work
1.6 million working people suffering from a work-related illness
38.8 million working days lost due to work-related illness and workplace injury
325 cases were prosecuted and resulted in a conviction. Fines from convictions totalled £35.8 million
In 2019/2020, the estimated economic cost to Great Britain totalled £16.2 billion with 38.8 million working days lost. In response to the report, Sarah Newton, HSE Chair said: “The Covid pandemic has focused attention on the health and safety issues people face in the workplace. HSE remains committed to taking action where workers are not protected, to ensure the guidance and assistance we provide for employers in managing risks is the best available, based on the latest evidence and science. “Although Great Britain continues to be up there with the safest places in the world to work, these figures highlight the scale of the challenge HSE currently faces in making Britain an even healthier and safer place to work, this includes our role in the response to the pandemic to ensure workplaces are Covid Secure. “We must continue to drive home the importance of managing risk and promoting behaviours to ensure employers work right so that workers are able to go home healthy and safe at the end of each day.” The full annual injury and ill-health statistics report can be found on HSE’s website.