With the release of the latest Health and Safety statistics for 2020/21 by HSE, we look at the headline figures, what has impacted them and what they could mean for your business for the year ahead.
Health and Safety statistics 2021
The headline figures from the HSE health and safety stats for 2020/21 include
- 7million workers suffering from work related ill health (new or long standing).
- 451,000 workers suffering from a new case of work-related stress, depression, or anxiety in 2020/21. Compared to 347,000 in 2019/20
- In 2020/21 the effects of the pandemic were found to be a major contributory factor to work related stress, depression, or anxiety
- 142 workers killed at work. Up from 111 in 2019/20
- 441,000 workers sustaining a non-fatal injury. Down from 693,000 in 2019/20
- 51,211 employee non-fatal injuries reported by employers under RIDDOR. Down from 65,427 in 2019/20
- 185 cases prosecuted and 2,929 notices issued by HSE. Significant drops on 2019/20. Figures impacted by the restrictions imposed during the COVID-19 pandemic
This year has also seen the inclusion of new stats looking specifically at COVID-19
- 93,000 workers suffering from COVID-19 in 2020/21 which they believe may have been from exposure to coronavirus at work (new or long-standing)
- 645,000 additional workers suffering from a work-related illness caused or made worse by the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic
What has affected health and safety statistics 2021?
The COVID-19 pandemic will have had a significant impact on the health and safety statistics for 2021. Prosecutions and notices issued have fallen as a direct impact for example.
This report by Weightmans also notes that changes businesses had to make to the way that they operate due to COVID-19 restrictions will have impacted the figures. Many businesses closed for large periods of time or employees worked from home instead of travelling to the workplace. And this could be a contributing factor to the fall in both self-reported non-fatal injuries and as well as those being reported via RIDDOR.
Weightmans also highlight the fact that fatal injuries in 2020/21 rose on 2019/20, and the continued importance of focusing health and safety in the workplace.
New and emerging health and safety risks for 2022
As more of us return to normal with COVID-19 restrictions eased, new risks will present themselves. So, it will remain vital to not only focus on health & safety in areas you would have done previously, but to also look to these new or increasing risks and take steps to protect your employees.
Increased road accidents
As more of us take to the roads again, we may see road accidents increase simply due to higher volumes of traffic. Drivers may also be out of practice having not driven for extended time periods during COVID. If you employ people who drive for a living this will certainly be an area to focus on when it comes to risk management.
Working from home work station assessments
It also looks as if working from home is set to stay in some shape or form for many workers. But have you set out robust procedures around this? Many people made the shift to working from home rapidly in 2020 when coronavirus restrictions were first announced.
But as an employer you have the same level of responsibility for your employee’s health and safety when they are working from home as you do when they are based in the workplace. If home working will be a permanent or long-term solution for employees there will be areas you will need to invest in such as home work station assessments.
Work-related stress and wellbeing
Be mindful of the increase of work-related stress, anxiety and depression levels seen in the previous years. You may need to look at additional steps that you can take as an employer to support the wellbeing of your employees.
Duty of care and managing your risk
You have a duty of care to fulfil your health and safety responsibilities and to manage risks. And whilst the focus of this should be employee safety, another area that having robust risk management strategies in place can benefit is that of insurance.
Insurers increasingly want to see that businesses take risk management seriously, that you have plans, policies and procedures in place to minimise risk in whatever form. And that you can demonstrate that this is a focus for your business. Your ability to do this can have a bearing on your ability to obtain the right insurance at the best possible price.
At Anthony Jones we are well placed to work with you to not only arrange your insurance but to also help you understand the risks your business may face. Chat to our business insurance teams today on 020 8290 9080 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.