The State of Health of Workers in the UK

The State of Health of Workers in the UK

As Spider-Man says, with great power comes great responsibility. If you’re a new site supervisor in your company, make it a goal to undergo a safety training scheme in Liverpool. The reason: workplace injuries and deaths are still prevalent in the UK.

What the Numbers Are Saying

In a comprehensive report by the HSE and National Statistics, you can glean on the state of health of workers in the country. Here are some essential points:

  • At least 144 people died in the workplace from 2017 to 2018. Meanwhile, over half a million sustained non-fatal injuries during the same period.
  • Employers reported only 71,062 workplace injuries.
  • About 13,000 deaths in the UK can be attributable to exposure to work hazards many years ago.
  • More than 500,000 people developed new illnesses between 2017 and 2018.

The impact of these workplace injuries and illnesses translated to £15 billion of healthcare costs for 2016 to 2017. It also led to over 3 million lost workdays from 2017 to 2018. It could mean millions of unrealized revenue.

When broken down among the cost bearers, employers ended up spending less at only £3 billion. The government shouldered £3.4 billion. The biggest spenders were still the workers. These injuries and ill health could cost them £8.6 billion.

The Surprising Data

The report also revealed some surprising information, which can change your perspective of on-site safety.

Take, for example, the usual causes of work-related poor health among employees. While 35% of the cases are musculoskeletal disorders, a whopping 44% are mental disorders such as anxiety and depression, as well as stress.

When broken down to possible causes, these mental health issues can stem from workload, which accounted for 44% of related cases from 2009 to 2012. This was followed by changes in the workplace, violence or bullying, and lack of support.

Among industries, stress, anxiety, and depression tend to be more common in education, human health or social work, and public defense. In general, though, at least 1,000 per 100,000 employees can suffer from these issues.

Usually, workers sustain injuries when they slip or fall. The report, though, highlighted that:

  • Exposure to asbestos in the workplace has caused over 2,500 deaths in 2016.
  • Around 12,000 who died from lung disease have past exposure to harmful substances at work.
  • Around 32% of the workers with respiratory conditions have chronic obstructive pulmonary disorder (COPD). It is a progressive, incurable condition that results in breathlessness.

Workplace accident

What All These Data Mean as a Supervisor

It’s a given. If you are a supervisor, your job is not only to monitor their performance but to guarantee the safety of the workers.

The information above, though, shows your organization might have to go beyond providing safety gear or equipment in the workplace. It’s also high time to identify some of the most common causes of stress and improve the employees’ mental health.

It might also be necessary to consistently keep track of the health of employees, especially those involved in hazardous or risky situations and environments.

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