People are quick to talk about “health and safety gone mad”, but there’s a reason most employers try to take the topic so seriously. In this article we will be talking about The state of health and safety in the UK workplace.
According to the Labour Force Survey, 565,000 people sustained a non-fatal injury at work in Great Britain in 2021/22. There were also 1.8 million individuals suffering from work-related ill health. Altogether, this meant that 36.8 million working days were lost across the country in a single year.
If you’ve been fortunate enough to avoid getting injured at work up to now, it might help to have an awareness of the sorts of incidents that can frequently cause them.
Most common injuries in the workplace
Slips, trips and falls on the same level: 30%
Many things can lead to you falling over in the workplace, such as wires trailing across walkways on a construction site, spillage in a communal area not being cleared up, or even just some poorly maintained flooring in your office building.
Handling, lifting or carrying: 18%
All employers should offer manual handling training when relevant – including regular refreshers to stop you from injuring yourself with a bad technique. You can sustain a serious back issue in the most innocuous fashion, so make sure you follow the processes you’re taught.
Struck by a moving object: 11%
If you work somewhere with a lot of moving parts, such as on a construction site or in a factory, make sure you keep your wits about you when heavy machinery or vehicles are nearby.
Acts of violence: 9%
No one should be subjected to a physical altercation while carrying out their work. It doesn’t always have to involve a colleague either – this can include being assaulted by a customer.
Falls from height: 8%
There’s a higher degree of risk when working at height, so make sure to test any equipment you get before relying on it in a dangerous environment.
What to do if you suffer an injury at work
Get medical attention: An ambulance will need to be called if your injury is serious. If it isn’t, you can go and see your GP as soon as possible. This will ensure the injury is noted on your medical records.
Inform your manager: You’ll need to report your accident to your employer. Tell your direct line manager or ask a colleague if you’re unable to do it yourself. Make sure the incident is recorded in your company’s accident book.
Start taking notes: Keep a record of the incident. In addition to what happened, note down details of the process and instructions you followed, as well as any training you referred to.
Collect evidence: Take photos of your injury and the scene of the incident. Ask your colleagues if they’d be willing to provide witness statements too. Keep financial records of any pay you miss out on or fees paid for necessary rehabilitation services.
Seek legal advice: If you think your injury was caused by someone else’s negligence, get in touch with a law firm to talk about making a compensation claim. They’ll be able to make an assessment of your case and let you know what sort of settlement you could get.