27 Million Working Days Lost Per Annum To Illnesses And Accidents At Work

Workplace accidents and illnesses are not only damaging and dangerous to the employees that suffer them but also cost considerable money to businesses and organisations. It is in the interest of an employer to ensure that they follow health and safety legislation, provide training, offer protective equipment, and ensure that machinery and other items are well maintained and looked after.

According to the most recent figures from the Health and Safety Executive, during the 2012/2013 year there were 148 fatal injuries amounting to 1 death for every 200,000 workers. In these cases, it is possible for family members to claim compensation payments from the former employer on behalf of the deceased. This is down from 172 deaths during the 2011/2012 year.

During 2011/2012 there were 591,000 people that suffered a workplace injury and 212,000 of these led to an absence of three or more days while 156,000 injuries led to seven or more days off work. 114,000 were considered to be major injuries.

While 148 deaths were caused by accidents at work, it is estimated that 12,000 deaths each year are caused by work related illnesses, also referred to as industrial illnesses. Furthermore 1.1 million people suffered or were suffering from some work related illness during the 2011/2012 year and 452,000 of these were new cases that had not been reported the previous year.

Common work related illnesses include musculoskeletal disorders, stress, depression, anxiety, skin disease, respiratory disease, and vibration related disorders. Any employee that suffers from these types of work related illness may have a right to seek compensation from their former employers because they have not provided adequate training or ensured that employees are kept safe during their time at work.

Overall, during 2011/2012, 27 million working days were lost due to illnesses and work related accidents. This equated to a total financial loss of £13.4bn, figures that exclude cases of work related cancer. While fatalities appear to be decreasing there are still an alarming number of accidents and injuries, as well as assaults, that take place on employees while they are in the workplace.

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