How many people are killed and injured at work each year

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					                                Accidents and consequences

With an increase in the number of recorded workplace fatalities, LRB Consulting Limited looks
at the some of the commonest causes of workplace fatalities and considers what organisations
need to do in order to help them to prevent these incidents and to protect their employees and
their businesses.

241 Workers killed at work for the period 2006/2007 and many other injured

HSE Statistics for the period 2006/2007 show that 241 workers who were killed at work. This is
a fatality rate of 0.8 per 100,000 workers. This figure is an increase on the average number of
workplace fatalities for the previous five years of 231. On top of this, there were 141,350 other
injuries to employees that were reported under RIDDOR (which is an accident rate of 535.1 per
100,000 employees). According to the Labour Force Survey, there were 274 000 reportable,
which a higher accident rate of 1,000 per 100,000 workers. In addition to the accidents at
work, there are about 2.2 million people who are suffering from an illness that they believed
was caused, or made worse, by their current or past work and 646 000 of these were new
cases in the last 12 months. As a result of these workplace accidents and ill health, about 36
million days are being lost each and every year, which is equivalent to about one and a half
days a year for each worker. About 30 million work days are lost annually due to work-related
ill health and a further 6 million due to workplace injury.

The commonest types of fatal accidents at work

If we remove road traffic accidents from the equation, more people are killed at work each year
as a result of falls from a height. Nearly 19% of the work related deaths (45 of the 241) for the
period 2006/2007 were due to falls from a height. In the previous year, this figure was 22%,
with 48 of the 217 workplace deaths arising from falls from a height.

The common causes of workplace fatal injuries are:

Type of accident                     Number in 2006 – 2007        Percentage of workplace
                                                                  fatal injuries for 2006 - 2007
Falls from height                                45                            18.7%
Struck by moving or falling                      40                            16.7%
objects
Struck by moving machinery                       30                            12.4%
Trapped by something                             19                             7.9%
collapsing or overturning
Contact with electricity                         18                            7.5%
Drowning or asphyxiation                         16                            6.6%
Contact with moving                              13                            5.4%
machinery


Actions that Organisation can undertake to help prevent accidents and to protect their
businesses
In simple terms: organisations can protect our employees and others against accidents by what
we do and protect our business (from prosecution) by what we can show.

As employers, you should protect people from harm by:
     ensuring that your policies, procedures, risk assessments, training, etc, deals with the
       hazards that may exist in your workplace or derive from your undertakings
     reviewing your Health and Safety Policy to ensure that is relates to your business and
       your operations
     review your existing Risk Assessments and ensure that they relate to your business
       and to your undertakings
     do your risk assessments identify:
        all appropriate tasks and operations
        all hazards arising from your undertakings
        the persons at risk
        the existing measures to control hazards
        any further measures required to control hazards
        timescales for implementation of new/additional control measures
        who is responsible for implementing the new/additional control measures
     undertaking meaningful active monitoring of your control measures
        go and check that you what you say you do (are control measures identified in the
           risk assessments really being used)
        check that control measures are effective – do they control the hazards effectively
           or do they need to be updated and improved?

In order to protect your business, you should ensure that the policy and risk assessment
documentation is accurate and is up to date. You should ensure that appropriate checklists are
being used and are completed properly and regularly (such as daily fork lift truck checklists,
machinery guarding and safety device checks, etc.). In the event of accidents, incidents and
near misses, suitable investigations should be carried out (and recorded) and, where
appropriate, suitable corrective actions should be identified, actioned and completion of the
actions recorded (ideally back on the accident investigation paperwork).

				
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Description: How many people are killed and injured at work each year