How many working days are lost each year due to accidents at work?
Millions of working days are lost each year to work-related injuries and illness. Here is everything you need to know about the impact of accidents at work on the workplace and the steps you can take to get compensation.
When it comes to accidents at work, the UK remains one of the safest countries to work in across Europe and around the world, thanks in large part to the UK’s extensive legal regulations on work safety. However, sometimes, accidents are unavoidable.
If an accident does occur and you’re injured at work, you naturally need a dedicated leave of absence in order to fully recover from your injuries. But whether it’s a few days or a week’s leave, the total number of lost working days across the nation adds up when you consider that there are an estimated 1,200 work accidents per day in the UK.
How many working days are lost each year in the UK as a consequence of accidents at work?
Despite being one of the safest countries to work in, according to the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) and Statista, on average, there are between 27.3 million and 38.8 million working days lost across the UK each year. While a sizeable proportion of these, between 23.4 million and 32.5 million, are related to some form of ill health, roughly 3.9 million to 6.3 million workdays are missed as a direct result of accidents in the workplace.
Further reports by the HSE and Statista show that roughly 400,000 to 600,000 people suffer a personal injury in the workplace each year. This staggering number means that a typical person injured at work will require an average of 9.7 days to recover from their injuries. Of course, very serious injuries may require weeks or even months of recuperation, especially if you need to alter your home life to accommodate a life-altering accident.
What are the most common forms of workplace injury?
When it comes to calculating how many working days are lost due to accidents at work, the overwhelming majority of non-fatal accident injuries come in the form of the following:
- Trips, slips, and falls
- Manual handling of various objects
- Being struck by a moving object
- Acts of violence
- Falling from a height
In fact, trips, slips, and falls are such a common form of office injury that research by the HSE shows they make up for 33% of all UK workplace injuries, with the manual handling of various objects responsible for a further 18%.
This should come as no surprise given that trips, slips, and falls, as well as handling heavy objects, can occur in any work environment, but you and your employers should still be mindful of taking precautions to avoid such incidents by following the safety guidelines set out by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE).
What are the most common industries to suffer workplace injuries?
Unsurprisingly, when looking at the stats showing how many working days are lost due to accidents at work, further HSE research found UK labour industries to have the most workplace injuries. The following areas have the highest workplace injury rates:
Agriculture, forestry, and fishing combined saw an estimated 3,970 workplace injuries for 2020-2021, with construction and accommodation food services seeing 2,870 and 2,460 cases respectively.
Being physically intensive and more dangerous roles, injuries are harder to prevent and more likely to occur in these sectors. However, employers are still required to do everything in their power to ensure workplace injuries are kept to a minimum in order to reduce the risk of personal injury to you at all times.
The cost of how many working days are lost due to accidents at work
Any injury received in the workplace has the potential to cause serious effects on the affected individual and their families. The human cost of a workplace injury can often be difficult to put into words on an emotional and physical level, but from a financial perspective, workplace injuries and illness are estimated to cost a combined £16 billion every year.
When consulting HSE and RIDDOR data, an average of £10.6 billion of the total cost is related to work stress and ill health, but that still leaves a mind-blowing £5.6 billion to cover physical work-related injuries; roughly 34% of the total cost.
Sadly, the majority of these costs are often covered directly by the injured individual or their relatives. Even in the event that the affected individual has insurance, a workplace injury can still place an unexpected and unwanted financial strain on themselves and their family, adding further weight to an injury’s emotional burden.
Fortunately, much of this financial cost can be recouped by an injured individual, especially if your employer is guilty of workplace negligence or oversight.
Over 2020-2021, almost 3,000 notices for safety improvements were issued by the HSE. Thanks to the tireless work of many personal injury lawyers, roughly £26.9 million in fines and compensation were awarded to those who suffered workplace injuries, helping them and their families to move on.
How can you avoid injury in the workplace?
We all want to feel safe at work, no matter our role or place of employment. While it’s certainly helpful to raise potential risks with your employer as and when you spot them, it’s your employer’s legal duty to ensure that your work environment is as risk-free as possible.
All employers must hire an adequate number of trained staff and provide you with the necessary safety equipment and tools to carry out your job with minimal risk.
If your employer fails to follow the legal guidelines required by them, and an injury or fatal accident then occurs, this is classed as wilful negligence on the employer’s part. Should this occur to you, then you’re entitled to make an accident at work compensation claim with regards to any injuries you suffered.
Here at The Compensation Experts, our skilled team is dedicated to matching you with the right personal injury lawyer and helping you win the compensation you’re entitled to. Get in touch today if you’ve suffered an accident at work and start making your claim. We’ll walk you through every step of the claims process, assess whether you can make a no win, no fee claim*, and advise you on how much you could potentially claim for.