The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) has recently released figures for work related injury and illness throughout 2014/15.
The key findings were as follows:
1. 1.2 million workers suffered work-related illness
2. 142 workers were killed at work
3. There were a reported 76,000 other injuries to employees, according to RIDDOR
4. According to the Labour Force Survey, there was a total of 611,000 injuries occurred in the workplace
5. 27.3 million working days were lost due to work-related illness and injury
6. The estimated cost of injuries and ill-health from working conditions totalled a staggering £14.3 billion.
Despite Great Britain remaining one of the safest places to work in Europe and the slight improvement on last year’s statistics; the findings are still alarming.
To focus on just one example, a recent report revealed that NHS Grampian had suffered an extreme number of assaults on employees, more than any other health board in the country. Across Scotland there were 18,636 assaults reported, with 4,809 of these attributed to staff at Grampian alone.
North-East Conservative MSP Alex Johnston commented: ‘I would have thought we would have more respect for people working in public services than this figure suggests. Nevertheless, a problem once identified has to be dealt with.”
As a Duty of Care, it is essential for organisations to protect their workforce from danger. By carrying out a risk assessment, employers can recognise where potential dangers lay and identify how the risks can be mitigated. The results can determine whether or not it would be practical for the organisation to implement personal safety alarms or buddy systems, providing back-up and response.