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Workplace Safety Records: GB Rules

Stringent workplace safety rules have helped the United Kingdom claim one of the best workforce safety records across Europe.

HSE – HELPING GREAT BRITAIN WORK WELL: The survey highlighted an enviable and much improved workplace safety record.

It showed that more than 90% of UK workplaces conduct regular health and safety risk assessments.

The UK health and safety statistics are even more impressive when you compare them to other leading EU countries. They were 56% in France and only 66% in Germany.

The workplace Health and Safety Executive (HSE) released the figures.

They clearly show that the United Kingdom is consistently producing low rates for fatalities and industrial injury-related work absences across the EU bloc.

In fact, the HSE health and safety statistics below show that less than 150 workers were killed at work in the UK (year 2015/16).

Are Risk Assessments a Legal Requirement?

YES – Risk assessment is required by law if you are an employer or self-employed. Employers and even those who are self-employed have a legal requirement to make a proper assessment of workplace health and safety risks arising from your work.

Its purpose is to identify any actions that help to control health and safety risks. HSE claims that UK businesses are more likely to have a health and safety policy compared to other EU countries.

Their studies also show that UK businesses are more likely to follow this up with formal risk assessment.

Workplace Injury is a Serious Business

There is no denying that workplace injury is a serious business. Not only do workplace incidents cause physical injury and distress. The financial burden can be disastrous.

Businesses are likely to experience a reduction in productivity with losses in staff members. Not to mention the upset suffered by work colleagues and cautionary disruptions to normal industrial operations.

In general, fatal injury rates have been falling across the European Union since the turn of the century. Even so, the stringent workplace safety rules in the United Kingdom have consistently produced some of the lowest rates for work-related injuries and fatalities.

Worker Fatality Rates in UK and EU (2012)

  • United Kingdom 0.58 (per 100,000 workers)
  • France 2.64
  • Germany 0.9
  • Italy 1.29
  • Spain 1.99

Figures from the same year show that only 1.9% of workers reported taking time off work because of associated work-related health problems in the United Kingdom.

Despite showing similar rates in Italy, the statistics were much higher in Spain at 2.8%. France averaged 5.4% and the EU country with most injury-related absenteeism was Poland with 7.7% of its workforce.

HSE Helping Great Britain Work Well

Health and Safety Executive statistics and key figures for Great Britain (2014/15).

  • 1.2 million working people suffering from a work-related illness.
  • 2,515 mesothelioma deaths due to past asbestos exposures (2014).
  • 76,000 other injuries to employees reported under RIDDOR. The multi letter acronym stands for Reporting of Injuries, Diseases and Dangerous Occurrences Regulations 2013.
  • 611,000 injuries occurred at work according to the Labour Force Survey.
  • 27.3 million work days lost due to work-related illness and workplace injury.
  • £14.3 billion estimated cost of injuries and ill health from current working conditions (2013/14).
  • 144 workers killed at work (2015/16).

The HSE say the health and safety record of Great Britain is the envy of much of the world. The extra challenge is to improve it even further.

The Health and Safety Executive is seeking to influence the system through their Help Great Britain Work Well strategy.


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Stringent Workplace Safety Rules Helping Great Britain Work Well