The HSE has released its key statistics for 2020/2021, and as ever they make interesting reading. They are a stark reminder of the impact which poor health and safety has upon the lives of those at work.
Key figures for Great Britain (2019/20)
- 111 workers killed at work
- 65,427 injuries were reported under the RIDDOR Regulations
- 693,000 working people sustained an injury at work
Provisional data for 2020/2021 indicates a total of 142 workers killed at work.
These figures continue to highlight the risks to all workers and the importance of risk identification and management strategies to reduce these figures further. A fatal accident in the workplace has a profound impact on everyone involved and can change the culture and day to day running of a business.
During the pandemic, there was a rapid reduction in workplace injuries and fatalities, primarily due to reduced workforces but it is likely this is also attributable to the increased awareness of identifying risk and putting in place risk assessments, safe systems of work and safe methods within the workplace environment. Most business have continued with this good working practice as Government restrictions are eased, however as workers gradually return to work and sectors such as manufacturing and construction see an increase in demand there is a real risk that pressures of work will once again expose gaps in health and safety compliance.
Due to the backlog of cases, fatal injury investigations by the Police and Health & Safety Executive are taking longer than ever and now often last years rather than months. Controlling and managing a fatal accident investigation from the outset is imperative and can have a real impact on how the fatal accident investigation proceeds and concludes.