565k people injured at work last year – here’s how to avoid accidents on the job

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  Posted by: electime      19th January 2023

Workplace accident specialists, First4Lawyers has revealed the most common workplace injuries across the UK and identified the top 10 workplace accident hotspots in the country, including the top 10 locations per capita utilising 10 years’ worth of internal claims data.

In the last year, 565k people were injured at work and in 2020, the average number of days lost due to work-related injuries was calculated as 20 days per person, a figure that has increased by a staggering 186% over the last 10 years.

With 123 workers killed during their time at work in 2020/21, more needs to be done to improve health and safety regulations in the workplace and reduce these staggering figures.

Top 15 most common workplace injuries across the UK

Injury type Number of injuries
Cut on hand 528
Cut on finger 525
Dislocation in hand 474
Scarred hand 453
Dislocation in back 448
Cut on the head 424
Dislocated finger 402
Cut on the back 394
Ligament damage in knee 379
Scarred arm 379
Fractured back 359
Dislocated foot 343
Dislocated wrist 330
Fractured hand 325
Tendon damage in hand 315

Sharing expertise on how to prevent the top 5 most common workplace injuries across the UK, Nick Higginson, CEO of Phoenix Health & Safety comments:

Injury to the hand

“An injury to the hand can occur in any workplace, but kitchens and construction sites are common high-risk locations. If you are working with sharp objects or knives in your workplace, there are courses available that can train you on the correct use of knives, which can reduce the risk of injury.

“If you work in a construction site or with machinery, your employer’s risk assessment should identify any potential danger areas and identify steps to minimise the risk.”

Hand dislocation

“Two common causes of hand dislocation are falling from height and car accidents. These can occur in a wide variety of industries including retail, transportation and even in the office.

“To ensure your staff are in the best position to avoid injuries from falling you can enrol your employees on working at height training, where they will be trained in the best practices when carrying out work at height.”

Scarred hand

“In kitchens and factories that work with corrosive chemicals or boiling oil, splashes and spills can lead to serious burns and scarring. Many workplaces are required by law to have adequate fire safety measures and chemical spill stations as well as provide PPE and training to staff.

“If your business does not have any measures in place, a risk assessment should be conducted to identify the risk of harm to employees and measures put in place to avoid potential fines.”

Back dislocation

“As of 2021, 180,000 people in the UK have suffered from back pain due to injuries in the workplace. Damage to the back or spine can leave you with temporary pain or permanent injury and can occur if an employee falls from a height or incorrectly handles heavy objects.

“Ensuring that your workplace has provided the correct equipment and training for handling heavy objects can reduce back injuries.”

Head injury

“Cuts and blows to the head can occur in any industry due to trips, falls and unsecured objects falling.

“A risk assessment will identify particular risks in the workplace, what training staff must undertake to ensure they are kept safe in the workplace, and whether PPE such as a hard hat may also be required.”

Find the most common work injuries near you below

The top three injuries across the UK are back, foot and hand injuries, with chest injuries being particularly prevalent in Manchester. These injuries can be caused by a multitude of workplace hazards including falls due to slippery floors and the lifting of heavy goods.

Discussing the research findings,  Jacqueline Busby, Head of Claims at First4Lawyers says: “Although it is positive that numbers of serious workplace accidents, including fatalities, has fallen significantly in the last few decades, we are still seeing too many people being hurt in preventable incidents.

“It is perhaps unsurprising that big cities top the list of accident at work hotspots. However, when we look at the number of accidents per capita, there are some much smaller towns making up the top 10. This shows employers all across the country need to be mindful of how they keep their workers safe.

“We have also found that there is a wide range of injuries happening to employees – from cuts on hands to dislocated backs. Although injuries are more likely to affect individuals in certain roles, it is a reminder that no worker is completely free of risk.”

For more information and expert insight on the workplace accident hotspots in the UK, visit: https://www.first4lawyers.com/workplace-accident-hotspots-revealed/