Health and safety in Great Britain 2015

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1 Health and Safety Executive Health and safety in Great Britain 2015 Work-related ill health and injury statistics Contents Summary 2 National and regional variation and trends 2 Ill health 3 Non-fatal injuries 4 Fatal injuries 5 Prosecutions 6 Costs 7 Technical Notes 9 This document is available from Page 1 of 10

2 Summary The information in this document relates to Health and safety statistics for 2014/15. The document can be found at: National and regional variation and trends This document represents a summary of the main differences in key health and safety statistics between the countries and regions of Great Britain and how trends in these figures have changed over time. It should however be noted that the main driver of differences in health and safety risk is a person s occupation and not where in Great Britain they work see technical note at the end of this document for further detail. Ill health The East Midlands, Wales, Yorkshire and the Humber, the South East and the South West have average rates which are significantly higher than the Great Britain average rate. Scotland has a statistically significantly lower than average rate. Trends over time (since 2001/02) are generally downward or broadly flat. Non-fatal injuries The East Midlands and Wales both have rates which are statistically significantly higher than the Great Britain average rate and London has a rate which is statistically significantly lower. Rates are generally falling over time (since 2001/02) across all of Great Britain, with signs of levelling off in some regions in recent years. Fatal injuries The highest rates in 2014/15 are in Scotland and the South West. Over a five year period the highest rates are in Wales, Yorkshire and the Humber and Scotland. Prosecutions The rate of enforcement activity recorded by HSE and local authorities over the past year is highest in the East Midlands and the North West. This document is available from Page 2 of 10

3 Ill health Estimates of prevalence and rates of self-reported illness are taken from the Labour Force Survey. Further details can be found in the technical note at the end of this document. Table 1: Estimated prevalence and rates of self-reported illness caused or made worse by work, by usual country and region of residence, for people working in the last 12 months, averaged 2011/12, 2013/14, 2014/15 1 Region / Country 2 Averaged prevalence (thousands) central estimate 95% C.I. 3 central estimate North East No Down North West No Down Yorkshire and the Humber Higher Down East Midlands Higher No West Midlands No Down East No Down London Lower No South East Higher Down South West Higher No England No Down Wales Higher No Scotland Lower No Great Britain Down Notes 1 no ill health data was collected in 2012/13 2 usual country and region of residence 3 95% confidence interval: the range within which we are 95% confident that the true value lies in the absence of bias. 4 whether rates are statistically significantly higher/lower than the average across Great Britain 5 whether there is a detectable trend over time (since 2001/02) and in what direction Averaged rate per employed in last 12 months 95% C.I. 3 Higher or lower than GB 4? Trend over time 5 Source:Labour Force Survey (LFS) National and regional variation in ill health rates: Over the period 2011/12 to 2014/15, the highest estimated ill health prevalence rates across Great Britain were in the East Midlands, Wales, Yorkshire, the South West and the South East. Each had average ill health rates statistically significantly higher than the average rate for Great Britain as a whole. Scotland had a statistically significantly lower than average ill health rate while the remaining countries and regions had average rates which did not display a statistically significant difference from that of Great Britain. Trends in national and regional ill health rates: The overall trend in ill health prevalence across Great Britain between 2001/02 and 2014/15 is generally downward. The same downward trend can be seen in the North East, North West, Yorkshire, West Midlands, East and South East regions. No detectable trend in either direction is evident for Scotland, Wales or the other three English regions. Further information: Further tables of national and regional ill health data are available on the regional tables page In addition to LFS data these tables include ill health data from the THOR surveillance schemes and information about asbestos-related deaths from the mesothelioma register. This document is available from Page 3 of 10

4 Non-fatal injuries Estimates of national and regional non-fatal injury incidence and rates are taken from the Labour Force Survey. Further detail can be found in the technical note at the end of this document. Table 2: Estimated incidence and rates of all self-reported workplace non-fatal injury 1, by usual country and region of residence, for people working in the last 12 months, averaged 2012/ /15 Region / Country 2 Averaged incidence (thousands) central estimate 95% C.I. 3 central Averaged rate per 100,000 workers estimate North East No Down North West No Down Yorkshire and the Humber No Down East Midlands Higher Down West Midlands No No East No Down London Lower Down South East No Down South West No Down England No Down Wales Higher Down Scotland No Down Great Britain Down Notes 1 workplace injuries include those sustained as a result of non-road traffic accidents 2 usual country and region of residence 3 95% confidence interval: the range within which we are 95% confident that the true value lies in the absence of bias. 4 whether rates are statistically significantly higher/lower than the average across Great Britain 5 whether there is a detectable all-injury trend over time (since 2001/02) and in what direction 95% C.I. 3 Higher or lower than GB 4? Trend over time 5 Source:Labour Force Survey (LFS) National and regional variation in non-fatal injury rates: Over the period 2012/13 to 2014/15, the highest estimated average non-fatal injury rates across Great Britain were in the East Midlands and Wales. Both had average non-fatal injury rates which were statistically significantly higher than the rate for Great Britain as a whole. London had a statistically significantly lower than average non-fatal injury rate and no other country or region had a rate which was statistically significantly different from that of Great Britain. Trends in national and regional non-fatal injury rates: Self-reported non-fatal injuries at work have generally followed a downward trend across Great Britain, but show signs of levelling off in recent years. The same downward trend can be seen for all countries and regions with the exception of the West Midlands. The signs of levelling off are apparent for some countries and regions, which includes Yorkshire and the Humber, East Midlands, East, the South East, Scotland and England as a whole. Further information: Further tables of national and regional injury data are available on the regional tables page This includes tables of RIDDOR data on annual reported nonfatal and fatal injuries at a local authority level. This document is available from Page 4 of 10

5 Fatal injuries Information on fatal injuries to workers is taken from RIDDOR reports and the figures relate to the relevant country or region of where the death occurred. Table 3. Number and rate of fatal injuries to workers, by country and region for 2014/15p and averaged from 2009/10 to 2013/14. Region / Country Rate (per 100,000 workers) 2014/15p 5 year 2014/15p 5 year average 1 average 1 North East North West Yorkshire and the Humber East Midlands West Midlands East London South East South West England Wales Scotland Great Britain Notes p provisional 1 Individual numbers are rounded and may not therefore sum to the subtotals or totals 2 The number of fatal injuries in England will not sum to the total of the English regions as the figure includes fatalities where the region was not known. National and regional variation in fatal injury rates: In 2014/15 the highest fatal injury rate across all countries and regions was in Scotland. The fatal injury rate for Wales was higher than that of England but the same as the rate in East Midlands and lower than that of the South West. There is however considerable variation from one year to the next due to the small numbers involved. Trends in national and regional fatal injury rates: Over a five year period the highest fatal injury rates across all countries and regions were in Wales and Yorkshire and the Humber. The fatal injury rates for both Wales and Scotland have been higher than that of England and higher than all English regions other than Yorkshire and the Humber which has a higher rate than Scotland. Further information: A detailed breakdown of fatal (and non-fatal) injuries reported through RIDDOR is available on the regional tables page This includes information on reported fatal and non-fatal injuries at a local authority level. This document is available from Page 5 of 10

6 Prosecutions For the most serious health and safety offences, HSE and local authorities may prosecute the duty holder, or in Scotland report to the Procurator Fiscal with a view to prosecution. Offences prosecuted count individual breaches of separate health and safety legislation and a duty holder may be prosecuted for more than one offence within the same case. Table 4. Legal proceedings instituted by HSE, local authorities and, in Scotland, the Crown Office and Procurator Fiscal Service 1, 2014/15 Region / Country Number of cases 2 Number of offences 3 Cases per 10,000 business premises Increase/decrease from previous year 4 North East % increase North West % decrease Yorkshire and the Humber % decrease East Midlands % increase West Midlands % decrease East % increase London % decrease South East % increase South West % decrease England % decrease Wales % increase Scotland % increase Great Britain % decrease Notes 1 in Scotland, HSE and local authorities investigate potential offences but cannot institute legal proceedings. HSE and local authorities send a report to the Crown Office and Procurator Fiscal Service (COPFS). COPFS makes the final decision whether to institute legal proceedings and which offences are taken. 2 number of cases for which legal proceedings have been instituted 3 number of offences for which legal proceedings have been instituted 4 percentage increase/decrease in number of offences for which legal proceedings have been instituted compared with previous year 5 in a few cases the court location may not be known with certainty. As a result region and country level figures may not sum exactly to GB figures. National and regional variation in ill health rates: The highest prosecution rates (number of cases per 10,000 business premises) were in the East Midlands and the North West while the lowest prosecution rates were in London and the South East. Trends in national and regional ill health rates: The overall number of offences for which legal proceedings were instituted has decreased very slightly since the previous year. However, there is substantial year to year variation in the number of prosecutions at a regional level and this is reflected in the regional changes. Scotland, Wales and four of the English regions had an increase in prosecutions since the previous year, with the largest rise in Scotland (51%). Five English regions had a decrease in prosecutions since the previous year, with the largest fall in Yorkshire and the Humber (60%). Further information: Further tables are available at Information about HSE enforcement generally can be found at and detail of local authority enforcement can be found at This document is available from Page 6 of 10

7 Costs As well as the human cost of workplace injury and illness cases in terms of the impact on the individual s quality of life (and for fatal injuries, loss of life), these cases impose financial costs for example, in terms of lost production and healthcare costs. The total economic cost of workplace injuries and ill health includes both the financial costs incurred and a valuation of the human costs. Latest costs estimates show that injuries and new cases of ill health in workers in Great Britain resulting largely from current working conditions cost society an estimated 14.3 billion in 2013/14 (expressed in 2013 prices). Further details can be found on the Costs web page at and in the technical note at the end of this document. Table 5. Estimated Costs to Britain of workplace injuries and new cases of work-related ill health 1 by country and region of work, 2013/14 (Costs expressed in 2013 prices) Costs due to Illness Injury table continued on next page Region / Country of work Estimated costs 2 ( million, 2013 prices) central 95% C.I. 3 North East North West ,100 Yorkshire and the Humber East Midlands West Midlands East London ,170 South East 1,447 1,196 1,698 South West England 7,150 6,437 7,863 Wales Scotland Country/Region not known 4 1, ,256 Total 9,381 8,507 10,256 North East North West Yorkshire and the Humber East Midlands West Midlands East London South East South West England 3,819 3,461 4,179 Wales Scotland Country/Region not known Total 4,916 4,497 5,336 This document is available from Page 7 of 10

8 Table 5 continued. Costs due to Region / Country of work Estimated costs 2 ( million, 2013 prices) central 95% C.I. 3 Illness and injury North East North West 1,318 1,098 1,539 Yorkshire and the Humber 1, ,351 East Midlands 1, ,262 West Midlands 1, ,355 East 1, ,282 London 1,487 1,235 1,739 South East 2,041 1,753 2,330 South West 1,265 1,050 1,480 England 10,969 10,078 11,861 Wales Scotland 1,235 1,020 1,449 Country/Region not known 4 1,380 1,144 1,617 Total 14,298 13,200 15,397 Source: HSE Cost Model Notes: 1 The cost estimates aim to reflect the economic costs of injuries and new cases of ill health complaints resulting from current working conditions. They largely exclude costs of illness caused by previous working conditions, such as cancer. 2 Cost estimates based on average annual estimates of new cases of illness for the three years 2011/12, 2013/14 and 2014/15 (Labour Force Survey), and the three years 2012/ /15 for injury (Labour Force Survey and RIDDOR). 3 Confidence intervals reflect the underlying sampling variability in the injury and illness incidence estimates from the Labour Force Survey. 4 Country/region of work not known for those who worked during the last 12 months but not currently working at the time of the Labour Force Survey interview This document is available from Page 8 of 10

9 Technical Notes 1. Interpretation of regional differences This document represents a summary of the main differences in key health and safety statistics between the countries and regions of Great Britain and how trends in these figures have changed over time. It is important to understand that it is not the geographic area in which someone works which is the primary driver of the degree to which they are at risk of adverse health and safety outcomes such as ill health or injury. The primary driver is a person s occupation, with the industry in which they work also having an effect. Therefore, any apparent difference between regions and countries will be affected by the occupational mix in the workforce of those regions and countries. In particular, when comparing countries it should be noted that both Scotland and Wales have proportionally fewer workers in low-risk occupations than England. The difference is largely driven by the occupational mix in London and South East where there is a much higher proportion of workers in low-risk occupations than across the rest of England and Great Britain as a whole. An analysis of the impact of London and the South East on the overall figures for England and for Great Britain can be found at With respect to fatal injuries, for which both Scotland and Wales have high rates over a five year period, an analysis of rates adjusted for industry composition can be found at It should also be noted that the number of fatalities in some countries and regions is relatively small, hence susceptible to considerable variation. With respect to non-fatal injuries, an analysis of rates adjusted for occupation can be found at 2. Injury and ill health data additional details The most reliable source for estimates of national and regional workplace injury and work-related ill health data is the annual Labour Force Survey (LFS). This is a household survey consisting of around 41,000 households across Great Britain which provides information about the labour market. HSE commissions a module of questions in the LFS to gain a view of workplace injury and work-related illness based on individuals perceptions. The LFS survey is used to make inferences about the whole population. When data obtained from a sample is used in this way, there is an element of sampling error, or uncertainty, about the sample estimate. Confidence intervals represent the range of uncertainty resulting from the estimate being derived from a sample of people, not the entire population. They are calculated so the range has a 95% chance of including the true value in the absence of bias that is the value that would have been obtained if the entire population had been surveyed. A difference between two sample estimates is described as statistically significant if there is a less than 5% chance that it is due to sampling error alone. Both the injury and ill health estimates presented in this document are based on averages over a three year period to ensure that sample sizes are large enough to provide reliable estimates: 2012/ /15 for injury and 2011/12, 2013/14 and 2014/15 for illness (ill health data was not collected in the LFS in 2012/13). Ill health prevalence estimates include long standing cases as well as those illnesses which first occurred in the last year (which are referred to elsewhere as incidence cases). Injury and ill health rates over time have been examined using smoothing techniques which aim to reduce irregularities (random fluctuations) in the time series. A Generalised Additive Model (GAM), which is an extension of a Generalised Linear Model (GLM) with smooth terms has been used, where the smoothed term is the year. A downward/upward trend is recorded when two conditions are met: a smooth model can be fitted to the data and the end points of the fitted model are statistically significantly different. Where the tables indicate that there is no downward/upward trend this implies that one of these conditions has not been met. This document is available from Page 9 of 10

10 3. Working days lost data There is recent information on Working Days Lost, taken from the Labour Force Survey, available on the regional tables webpage at 4. Costs data additional detail For the Costs data, no analysis of regional variation has been presented in this document. Differences in costs between regions and countries do not in themselves indicate differences in risk and will be largely driven by the number of people working in that country or region. Table 5 should therefore only be used to observe the costs for a particular individual region or country of interest and should not be used to make comparisons between different regions or countries. The cost estimates aim to reflect the economic costs of injuries and new cases of ill health complaints resulting from current working conditions. They largely exclude the costs of illness, such as cancer, caused by historic working conditions. HSE will be publishing a separate estimate of costs of occupational cancer towards the end of 2015 (though this will not include any regional breakdowns). National Statistics National Statistics are produced to high professional standards set out in the National Statistics Code of Practice. They undergo regular quality assurance reviews to ensure that they meet customer needs. They are produced free from any political interference. An account of how the figures are used for statistical purposes can be found at For information regarding the quality guidelines used for statistics within HSE see A revisions policy and log can be seen at Additional data tables can be found at Statistician: Simon Webster Contact: Last updated: October 2015 Next update: October 2016 Crown copyright If you wish to reuse this information visit for details. First published 10/15. Published by the Health and Safety Executive V1 10/15

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