Figures recently published by the HSE indicate that businesses must not underestimate the importance of addressing health and safety systems that are in place, and making the crucial rectifications where necessary.
In the 2017/18 period 144 workers were killed at work and 555,000 injuries occurred at work, according to the Labour Force Survey – 3.9 million working days were lost due to work-related illness and workplace injury.
During 2017/18, non-fatal workplace injuries to employees by main accident kinds (as reported by employers) were as follows:
- 31% – slips, trips or falls on the same level
- 21% – handling/lifting/carrying
- 10% – being struck by an object
- 8% – falls from height
- 7% – acts of violence
In the year 2017/18, 517 cases prosecuted by either the HSE or the Crown Office and Procurator Fiscal Service in Scotland have reached a verdict – 493 cases have resulted in a conviction for at least one offence, according to the HSE. Fines for that period were in the sum of £72,614,869, which is an average fine of £147,292 per conviction. Most prosecutions were for contraventions under the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974.
Fortunately, in recent years there has been a downward trend in the rate of fatal injury and self-reported non-fatal injury overall. However, the statistics are still indicative of potential shortcomings in health and safety procedures that need to be rectified to ensure that fatalities and injuries are heavily reduced.