April 27, 2022
Accidents at work and illness contracted through work carry a huge human cost, which in extreme cases can be fatal. There is also a significant economic burden to be faced by organisations with poor health & safety records. For these two reasons, 28th April 2022 is World Health & Safety At Work Day; a global initiative to promote health and safety awareness and to prevent occupational accidents and diseases around the world.
At Spencers Solicitors we are at the sharp end of the UK’s efforts to build a positive health & safety culture, because we receive regular instructions from clients to pursue accident at work claims where personal injury or occupational disease have caused great pain and distress. Pursuing an accident at work claim requires employer liability to be proven, and while the UK accident statistics have shown a small reduction in 2021, there is still room for improvement and it is still very clear that awareness days such as World Health & Safety At Work Day are needed to help employers improve their records.
2021 accident at work statistics
The Health & Safety Executive (HSE) has released their accident statistics for 2021, which reveal that there were 142 fatalities linked to workplace illness and injury last year. In total there were 441,000 not-fatal accidents at work, as well as 800,000 cases of work-related stress, depression and anxiety and 1.7 million cases of work-related ill health. Within this last figure, 12,000 cases were due to lung disease caused by a past exposure at work, showing that historical failures can have long term effects, and highlighting the fact that what employers do today to improve health & safety performance will have a positive influence now and in the future.
Of the 441,000 non-fatal injuries reported by the HSE, 102,000 resulted in an absence from work of seven days or more. This highlights the human and economic cost referred to earlier, in that any accident, however minor, can have a costly effect. And when you consider that 33% of these non-fatal accidents were caused by slips or trips, and 18% by handling and lifting, we can see that over half of all workplace accidents are very easily preventable by training, better health & safety management and following proper procedures.
The key aims of World Health & Safety at Work Day are to:
- Promote a positive health & safety culture
- Show employers how to be proactive and not reactive in their health & safety management
- Promote dialogue, responsibility and structure with clear policies and strategies
- To promote the meaningful involvement of all parties
Promoting positive health & safety management
Most of these above aims are also the main takeaways we like to see at Spencers Solicitors when processing accident at work claims. In such cases, the employee has a right to justice and to receive suitable compensation for their pain and suffering, rehabilitation costs, and potential loss of earnings, but we also want to see employers take responsibility and implement corrective actions to prevent a repeat of these incidents. Only by taking ownership and learning from accidents can we hope to improve on these figures and work to provide a safe and comfortable working environment for everybody.
This is why our experienced and dedicated accident at work solicitors are keen to promote World Health and Safety at Work Day, and while we have successfully represented many victims of accidents at work, we have also worked with many businesses to improve their policies and procedures, enforce best practice in the workplace and promote a positive health & safety culture.
With this in mind, whether you have suffered a workplace accident and would like to make a claim, or you are an employer wanting advice and recommendations on your health & safety performance, you can speak to our experts in accidents at work and public liability by contacting us today for confidential advice and guidance.
About the author
Steve is a solicitor who qualified in 1998 and has over 30 years experience in representing clients throughout the UK who have suffered catastrophic, complex serious injuries including amputations; whole body burns, and long term disabling psychological conditions as a result of serious workplace and road traffic accidents, in particular, catastrophic injuries in the steelworks and factories of South Wales; Kent and the Midlands.
In addition he has been an advocate at inquests representing families of loved ones who have died as a result of accidents. Steve goes that extra mile for clients exhibiting excellent client care.