According to recent data, 4.7 million working days were lost in 2018/19 due to non-fatal workplace injuries. Further to this, 23.5 million working days were lost due to work-related ill health, such as stress, depression, anxiety or musculoskeletal disorders. That’s a pretty huge number of absences due to work-related illness.
Of course, employee injury and illness are not only upsetting for those involved but can also put strain on the business. Staff absence can reduce productivity and lead to financial strains, particularly if the company needs to pay the sick worker as well as temporary staff. So, what are the most common injuries that staff suffer with, how can employers keep their people safe, and what should they do in the worst-case scenario? We explore this further here.
What are the most common non-fatal injuries?
Perhaps unsurprisingly, the most common cause of non-fatal injuries in workplaces are slips, trips or falls – making up 29% of overall accidents. Handling, lifting or carrying are the next biggest cause of injuries to staff, accounting for 20%. This means that nearly half of all injuries were caused by just two types of accident – highlighting how important it is for employers to offer adequate staff training to help prevent these kinds of injuries.
How many people sustained non-fatal injuries at work last year?
Health and Safety Executive have published data from the Labour Force Survey (LFS) 2018/19 – the largest household survey in the UK – and data from RIDDOR, to paint a picture of the true number of injuries people experienced in the workplace last year.
Over half a million workers (581,000) suffered a non-fatal injury at work in 2018/19 according to self-reports in the LFS. 443,000 of these people took up to 7 days off work due to their injury, and 138,000 needed more than a week to recover.
What should employers do if a staff member has an accident at work?
If you are an employer, you’ll know that you are responsible for the health and safety of your employees while they’re at work under the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974. There may be various measures you need to take, for instance completing risk assessments, ensuring there are no hazards, providing training to staff and more.
If one of your employees suffers an injury while at work, you must record it in your accident book. Depending on the type of accident/injury, you may also need to complete a RIDDOR report. It’s important to take all accidents seriously, providing the member of staff with the support they need. This may be through compensation or leave until they recover from their injury.
What should workers do if they have an accident at work?
Workers should let their employer know about their injury or ask someone else to notify them if they are unable to. They should also ensure that it has been recorded in an accident book if the company has more than 10 employees. The employee should be seen by a medical professional as soon as possible and receive any care necessary.
If they need to take time off work, they may be entitled to contractual sick pay, statutory sick pay or other benefit depending on their situation. They may also want to make a no win no fee compensation claim against their employer if they feel that they failed to implement adequate health and safety measures.
To reduce the likelihood of accidents in your workplace, follow guidance from HSE and other health authorities – ensuring you have done everything you possibly can to mitigate risks for your staff.