If you run a construction company, you might be surprised to learn that ill health and injuries within the industry end up costing just over £16.2 billion per year.
The government ends up paying about 22 per cent of this total cost while employers cover one fifth, but the majority, a whopping 59 per cent falls upon the workers who find themselves injured or in ill health.
These total costs rose by an incredible 34 per cent in 2020, but to say that this is because workplace safety has decreased or that accidents happen more often does not put across the full story.
For instance, even though the number of working days lost because of ill health or injury decreased by 12 per cent to 2.1 million in the two years leading up to 2020, there was an increase of 5 per cent in non-fatal injuries that occurred on-site for the same time period.
These numbers show that more and more people are returning to work while injured or ill, and this problem is being exacerbated by a decrease in prohibition and improvement notices, which have gone down an incredible 54 per cent in the three years leading up to 2021. In the same time period, prosecutions went down by 63 per cent.
Workers within the UK construction industry are working through injury more than before, but this can affect both their physical and mental health long term, which can exacerbate troubles for them.
The best way for a construction company to protect their workers is with proper training, as offered by Pro Trainers UK, which specialises in site safety training.
Whether it is by introducing the use of all the correct personal protective equipment or just understanding the dangers of the workplace and how to avoid them, this training is essential to reducing injuries caused by incidents in the workplace.
Recording all incidents is also a very important part of reducing any potential future injuries. Even if it is only a near miss, doing a risk assessment of these events can help a company minimise any much more serious incidents that may occur and leave horrific consequences.
Health and safety should be a primary concern for the construction industry as it has the dubious honour of the second-highest death rate in the United Kingdom for the latter part of 2021, seeing 24 deaths, 10 of which were due to falls from heights alone.