In December the HSE published their 2020 / 21 statistics which cover work-related ill health, non-fatal workplace injuries and enforcement action taken by them. These annual statistics are prepared to illustrate to employers, policy makers, and employees themselves, of the health and safety risks they face while at work.
Not unsurprisingly the coronavirus pandemic has had an impact on the statistics, and while there is no new data on the number of working days lost and the resulting economic costs two new measures have been developed by HSE to estimate the impact of the pandemic on work-related ill health which are that:
- 93,000 workers self-reporting that they contracted COVID-19 at work; 52,000 of these worked in the human health and social work sector;
- 645,000 workers reported that their work-related illness was caused, or made worse by the coronavirus pandemic, 70% of these were cases of stress, depression or anxiety.
The other headline statistic are:
- 1.7 million workers suffering from work-related ill-health, around half of which are attributable to stress, depression and anxiety – the working sectors Industries reporting higher than average rates of stress, depression or anxiety include public administration, human health / social work and education;
- 441,000 workers sustaining a non-fatal injury, 102,000 of these injuries resulting in an absence from work of more than seven days – 33 % of injuries were as a result of slips, trips and falls on same level, 18% of injuries resulting from handling, lifting or carrying;
- 142 fatal injuries, with the construction industry, followed by agriculture, forestry and fishing, and manufacturing as the working sectors where the majority of these fatal incidents occurred;
- 2369 Mesothelioma deaths with a similar number of lung cancer deaths linked to past exposures to asbestos;
- HSE issued 2,929 enforcement notices;
- 185 cases were prosecuted or referred to COPFS for prosecution in Scotland by HSE where a conviction was achieved, the average fine per case was £145,000.
If you have any questions on any of the issues raised in the above article, please contact Gary Foggo.