work related injuryThere’s an epidemic in Britain, but it’s not a virus and almost everyone you know has suffered from it, illness and injuries at work. It doesn’t seem like much seeing it from an everyday perspective, but the numbers are stacking up.

Work related injuries and illnesses cost the country billions of pounds a year in lost workdays and claims. According to Health and Safety Executive (HSE) statistics, 131 million work days were lost in 2012 due to work-related injuries or illness. A survey done by Mind in 2011 found that British businesses lose £26 billion each year due to absences and lost productivity. Businesses arguably lose much more in reality when employers fail to protect their workers from harm, sometimes resulting in claims filed against them. This is a huge blow for employers as the most commonly reported work related injuries are easily preventable.

Slips and Falls

Slipping on wet floors and tripping over fallen objects seem like silly reasons to get injured, but is a reality across all industries. Landing awkwardly after a fall from any height is a cause for concern, as it may lead to broken bones or pulled muscles. Anyone who follows basketball can cite instances where a player injured himself by landing wrong.

Burns

These accidental injuries commonly occur when chemicals or flame accelerators are mishandled or mislabelled. It is important to clearly identify potential hazards when it is necessary for workers to access them.

Vehicle collisions

Office workers often have the habit of getting lost in their thoughts while performing mundane tasks, and drivers are no different. The brain will often enter “auto-pilot” mode when performing a single task repeatedly for long periods of time. This becomes significantly more life threatening when you’re in a moving vehicle. Sore muscles have also been linked to slower reaction times, contributing to rise in vehicle collisions.

Employers have a responsibility to keep their workers as much out of harm’s way as possible to avoid instances of work injury claims, but workers also have a responsibility of letting their employers know when something is wrong.

Sources:

http://www.hse.gov.uk/statistics/pdf/cost-to-britain.pdf http://securelaw.co.uk/accident-claims/work-related-illness/ http://www.workplacesafetyadvice.co.uk/common-injuriescauses-accidents-work.html