The HSE has released its figures for 2018/19 RIDDOR fatalities, and it’s not good news for the UK workforce.
Are we doing enough?
If we were forced to pick some good news from the figures, it would simply be that matters have not got any worse. The below graph shows a long-term downward trend in workplace fatalities over the past 40 years, however, it also shows broadly similar statistics over the past decade which leave us wondering if UK employers are doing enough to protect their staff.
You may be forgiven, at first glance, for thinking the above table is positive, however, when we sit the table next to the fact that 147 workers did not make it home last year, positivity is a difficult mindset to reach. A further 92 members of the public were killed by work-related activities in the same period. These figures should be a stark and shocking wake up call to all those responsible for lives in the line of work.
Biggest Killer is Working from Heights
Unsurprisingly, falls from height were the biggest killer, with 40 people being fatally injured in a height-related accident, following on from our Working from Height awareness week after our findings in the June Court Report.
30 workers failed to return home after fatal accidents where they were struck by a moving vehicle. Accidents of this type are often a result of a failure to have safe systems of work in place, which keep vehicles and pedestrians separate on sites.
The Most Dangerous Industries
30 more were killed by moving objects or machinery, and a further 11 were killed by being trapped under a collapsing or overturned object. The figures seem to imply a large failing in the Construction, Agriculture and Manufacturing industries which are responsible for about 60%, with approximately 75% of the fatalities being aged 16-59.
5 Year Average
There were 6 more worker fatalities this year than there were last year and 5 more than the average over the past 5 years, which can only be understood as a sign that not enough is being done to protect our workforce.
The rate of deaths for self-employed workers vs employed workers largely fluctuated per industry as below.
How do we reduce workplace fatalities?
The fact is that accidents will always happen, however, employers can mitigate the risk much more than we are currently by adhering to Health and Safety law and legislation more thoroughly. There is still a belief across the UK that a Health and Safety system can sit in the office gathering dust, rather than be an active part of what our workers do every day.
Are you a Proactive or Reactive employer? We have a solution for Proactive Employers…
Involve your workforce
Using a software solution, like CRAMS, to manage your health and safety obligations, ensures the right people have sight of the right policies and documents as often as they need to. Amendments can be made quickly and passed to all policies without the need for a single print out.
Acknowledgements are tracked and auditable, so you can see which members of staff have not met your company compliance requirements and chase them, whilst the system also notifies them. Your staff can also comment on documents they have questions or issues with, enabling two-way communication and empowering your staff to take their safety into their own hands.
Train Your Workforce
CRAMS comes with 50+ Integrated e-learning courses which enable you to train your staff regularly at no extra expense, a trained workforce is likely to perform more safely and efficiently, offering you more peace of mind. There is also evidence of the fact that offering your staff training and development opportunities improves staff attrition. External courses and the associated refreshers can also be tracked and managed by CRAMS.
Reporting accidents, incidents and hazards can be done by any employee from anywhere with CRAMS and they require a review after reporting. This forces managers or competent people to review processes alongside accident data, guiding your team to implement safer controls to remove hazards. The system also shows trends and history in a very simple and easy to understand way.
Safe Systems of Work
Building up safe systems of work is easy with our online tools, which can be done from site, from home or from anywhere in the world that a new policy or document is required, or make changes and quickly communicate them to everyone who needs to know.
Using our innovative new tool, Hub & Link, companies can share information between each other or with contractors/subcontractors, without needing to print a thing, whilst still keeping their own policies and procedures private, in line with data protection.