Much attention has been placed in recent times on the subject of health and wellbeing in the workplace, and the latest annual injury and ill-health statistics from the Health & Safety Executive (HSE) serve to further demonstrate the importance of such thinking. The report shows that while Britain remains one of the safest places to work overall, the economy is still blighted by 1.3 million work-related cases of ill-health, 0.6 million non-fatal injuries to workers, and a tragically-high 137 fatal injuries to workers annually (based on figures for 2016/17), which all-in-all amounts to a total cost of £14.9 billion; not to mention the harm and distress experienced by those directly affected.

General work-related ill-health accounted for 25.7 million of the 31.2 million working days lost in 2016/17. Rather distressingly, the report also estimates that approximately 13,000 deaths each year are linked to past exposure at work, primarily to chemicals or dust, with some industries being affected more than others in this regard due to the nature of their business.

2016/17 also saw 0.5 million reported cases of work-related stress, depression or anxiety, and roughly the same number of work-related musculoskeletal disorder cases. While the latter could be largely fixed by an investment in better seating arrangements and upgrades to the working environment as a whole, the former tends to be decidedly more difficult to tackle, as you may well expect.

The primary causes for these oft-damaging cases of work-related stress, depression and anxiety among employees are reported to be; the scale of the workload ahead of them (44%), a lack of support (14%), violence, threats or bullying (13%), and changes at work (8%). A variety of other responses make up the remaining 21%.

The most-notable figures revealed within the report are summarised in the graphic below, as published by the HSE:

Img: Health & Safety Executive (HSE)
Martin Temple, HSE Chair, said of the findings, “These latest figures should act as a spur to reduce the impact of ill-health and injury on Britain’s workforce and businesses and we cannot rest on our reputation. We will only achieve long term improvement by a collective approach to improve workplace standards. Poor standards lead to poor health and increased injuries, which is bad for the workforce and business.”

Sam Bonson

Sam is an aspiring novelist with a passion for fantasy and crime thrillers. He is currently working as a content writer, journalist & editor as he continues to expand his horizons.
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