The UK’s most dangerous jobs. Does your job come up?
The annual Health and Safety Executive (HSE) has been recently published showing the most dangerous and most risk to health jobs in the UK. The report looks at figures of accidents and even deaths that have been a result of workplace accidents and industrial diseases. It has been revealed that 142 people died in the UK during 2014-15 while at work. Also 78,000 people suffered non-fatal injuries that were reported by there bosses. But shockingly 611,00o other injuries occurred by which workers had to report there work place injuries themselves. These figures are very worrying but are lower from the previous 2013-14 study, meaning work place safety is improving.
The above chart shows the total number of working days lost due to cases of work-related ill health and workplace injuries in the UK. The data has followed a downward trend since the start of the last decade, but shows signs of levelling off in recent years.
In terms of health implications such as cancer, hearing loss, lung and skin problems they are still a reality when it comes to workers working within the UK. These types of work place illnesses will affect more than 1.2 million people, with cancer deaths accounting for 8,000 fatalities. It is also said that these will affect three times more men then woman.
What are the most dangerous sectors to work in?
According to the report the most dangerous jobs involved working outdoors, with fishermen and farmers making up 4.3% of all those injured whilst doing their job. Building and construction workers make up 3.1%, with logistics making up 2.6%. Manufacturing is also in the list with a percentage of 2.4% and the hotel and dining trades, which might be surprising to many, make up 2.7% of work place injuries.
As you can see there is a broad spectrum when it comes to industries that pose a potential risk to health or life in the UK.
In terms of disease being spread in the workplace, public health and social care contribute the largest proportion, accounting for 4.6% of all diseases at work. This means that if you work in the public sector in a healthcare profession you are more likely to suffer ill health than someone working outside this sector. Workers within the Public administration and defence (4.2%) or water supply and waste management (4%) are more likely suffer with illness and disease.
Of the 142 fatal injuries in the UK, 113 were in England, 20 happened in Scotland and 9 occurred in Wales, which is widely representative of the population in the UK but do offer some cause for concern, as will always be the case until the day that there are no fatalities in the workplace.
Jobs that have a higher ‘stress factor’
The jobs that are safer than most include finance, property sales and lettings, the arts, leisure, communications, science or retail. Shop staff are not entirely free of danger though, as the possibility of dealing with challenging customers puts retailers at the top of the stress charts. The survey also cited time pressures, long or irregular hours, poor communication and job insecurity as having an effect on their mental health and well-being.
In 2014-15, stress affected 440,000 employees in the UK. This shows how stress factors and job insecurity in certain professions can be just as bad for your health as jobs that carry a more obvious risk, such as construction. Employees having time off work is said to be the most common reason for sick days in the UK. According to the Telegraph in 2013, one in five sick days are due to stress or well-being and overall this has cost UK employers an estimated £460 million in wasted wages, per day.
David Williams, Director of Group Protection at Friends Life, stated:
“Despite green shoots of recovery in the economy, it’s clear from our research that many workers continue to live under a serious burden of stress, particularly those under the age of 25. UK economic output is improving but this is not having as positive an effect on UK workers’ stress levels as we would have hoped. Employers can provide valuable services for their employees that can help prevent and manage stress. It is important that employers spot the signs of stress early to ensure that action can be taken to help employees feeling pressured. This can positively affect employee well being, engagement as well as business productivity.”
This suggests that employers in the UK need to implement more measures to support employees who they think are suffering from work related stress. Research has shown that we, as a nation, may not be doing enough to make sure our workers are happy and motivated in there roles. If this is achieved then the one in five days taken of due to stress may decrease and £460million deficit may be cut.
What are the consequences for employees and employers?
Work related injuries and incidents lose UK businesses and organisations 27.3 million working days and cost them an estimated £14.3 billion, with illness making up £9.4 billion of that figure and injury accounting for the other £4.9 billion. These figures should act as a wake up call to British businesses and the Government, as it is apparent that something needs to be done about work safety and well-being measures in the UK.
Not only could these figures drop but concentrating on issues, such as work related stress could improve workers lives, which will mean more positive and happy employees.
Have you been affected by a work related accident that wasn’t your fault? How we can help?
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