Talking about workplace accidents, injuries or diseases still holds some stigma. Even though employers have insurance that covers personal injury claims against them, there are still many misconceptions about making a claim.
There is plenty of bad press about personal injury claims which give the impression that the UK is becoming ‘too risk-averse’ or that too many people are claiming for compensation, but actually the amount of people who claim personal injury compensation is very low in relation to the number of people who have had their lives severely altered and affected by an injury or illness. This reluctance in claiming means that the individual person and the government bare the full weight of the cost of the injury, whether this is from medical treatment or time spent unable to work.
Insurers provide insurance to employers knowing the risks. Not enough is being done to minimise the risk to workers. The taxpayer and individual should not have to foot the bill for those harmed because of employer negligence.
If you have experienced a workplace injury or illness, whilst it may seem like you are alone, you are not. Let’s take a look at the latest statistics and see how common workplace accident, disease and fatality actually is.
(Health and safety at work Summary statistics for Great Britain 2017)
Work-Related Ill Health
- 1.3 million Workers suffering from work-related ill health (new or long-standing) in 2016/17.
- 516,000 Workers suffering from a new case of work-related ill health in 2016/17.
- 25.7 million Working days lost due to work-related ill health in 2016/17.
- 13,000 Deaths each year estimated to be linked to past exposure at work, primarily to chemicals or dust.
Work-Related Stress, Depression and Anxiety
- Working days lost due to stress, depression or anxiety accounted for 49% of all working days lost due to ill health in 2016/17.
- 526,000 Workers suffering from work-related stress, depression or anxiety (new or long-standing) in 2016/17.
- 236,000 Workers suffering from a new case of work-related stress, depression or anxiety in 2016/17.
- High-risk industries: human health and social work, public admin/ defence, education.
- Manual handling, awkward or tiring positions and keyboard work or repetitive action are estimated to be the main causes of work-related musculoskeletal disorders.
- 507,000 Workers suffering from work-related musculoskeletal disorders (new or longstanding) in 2016/17.
- 159,000 Workers suffering from a new case of work-related musculoskeletal disorder in 2016/17.
- High-risk industries: Construction, agriculture, forestry and fishing, transportation and storage, human health and social work.
- 12,000 Lung disease deaths each year estimated to be linked to past exposures at work.
- 2,542 Mesothelioma deaths in 2015, with a similar number of lung cancer deaths linked to past exposures to asbestos.
- 18,000 Estimated new cases of breathing or lung problems caused or made worse by work each year on average over the last three years according to self-reports from the Labour Force Survey.
- There are projected to be around 2,500 mesothelioma deaths per year for the rest of the decade before numbers begin to decline
- There are an estimated 200-300 new cases of occupational asthma seen by chest physicians each year, with no change over the last decade.
- Occupational lung diseases account for around 12,000 of the 13,000 total deaths estimated to be linked to past exposures at work.
- Lung diseases contributing to estimated current annual deaths – 20% asbestos-related cancer. 33% COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease). 20% Mesothelioma. 23% Non-asbestos related lung cancer.
- Common causes of occupational asthma: Isocyanates, flour/grain, cleaning products, wood dust, enzymes/amylase.
- 137 Workers killed at work in 2016/17.
- 609,000 Estimated non-fatal injuries to workers according to self-reports from the Labour Force Survey in 2016/17.
- The common non-fatal injury causes: slip, trip or fall, lifting/handling, struck by an object, fall from a height, contact with machinery, strike against something fixed.
Costs to Britain
- £14.9billion Annual costs of work-related injury and ill health in 2015/16, excluding long latency illness such as cancer.
- £5.3billion Annual costs of workplace injury in 2015/16.
- Currently, the majority of the cost lies on the individual, followed by the taxpayer. This should be falling on the employer’s insurers.
A worry for many is the financial costs involved with making a claim. We provide a no win no fee service, which means that you do not have to pay for upfront legal advice. If you have been injured or are suffering from a workplace disease, there is no harm in giving us a call on 0114 267 8780 and arranging a face to face visit. Or, simply fill in our claims form.