Has Health and Safety in the UK improved?

Health and safety in the workplace will always be a concern for both employers and employees, and if businesses are not doing everything they can to reduce the risk of accidents, the results could prove costly.

At YouClaim, we’re concerned about the wellbeing of UK workers, which is why we help so many employees to secure financial relief following a workplace injury, allowing them to focus on recovering from their injuries and return to making a living. With that in mind, we’re going to take a closer look at how health and safety has changed in the workplace to see if workers’ safety is still (as it should be) a top priority for employers.

The current state of health and safety in the workplace

Each year, around 70,000 employees suffer an injury in the workplace, according to RIDDOR reports from the Health and Safety Executive (HSE). The 2015/16 reports show that although the number of injuries has gradually declined over the last five years, work-related accidents and illnesses cost the UK around £14.9 billion per year and result in a loss of 31.2 million working days.

The cost of workplace-related accidents has risen since the introduction of new sentencing guidelines by the HSE on 1st February 2016. The penalties for breaching health and safety legislation have become tougher, with companies found guilty of a breach facing hefty fines and/or up to two years’ imprisonment. Since the introduction, the value of fines collected has increased by 80%, jumping from £38.8 million in 2015/16 to £69.9 million in 2016/17.  

Has health and safety in the workplace improved over the last 10 years?

To highlight the change in health and safety over the last 10 years, we’ve created an infographic looking at various aspects, including cost to employers, days lost, the number of non-fatal and fatal injuries, and prosecutions and convictions. Click on the image below to open the infographic.


How to improve health and safety

To help raise awareness of accidents in the workplace, we have created a visual guide on the risks that many companies are missing, which increases the likelihood of an incident.

Without regular checks, a seemingly-safe workplace can hide serious health and safety risks likely to cause harm to employees, visitors or members of the public. In reality, it may be impractical to prevent every imaginable hazard, but no one wants to think they could have done more if an accident was to take place.

Competency is the most vital skill for managing health and safety in the workplace, and every level of an organisation should be involved. Training directors, line managers and workers to be more aware of risks and understand what action needs to be taken when a hazard arises will help to promote a safe and healthy workplace.

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