2021’s HSE ‘Health and Safety at work’ report highlights the importance of mental health in the workplace.
After a tumultuous year, the Health & Safety Executive has released its 2021 report on ‘Health and Safety at work’ and the latest statistics for the UK. The report confirms that in 2020/21, 0.4 million workers sustained a non-fatal injury, 162,000 workers were diagnosed with a new case of a work-related musculoskeletal disorder, and 142 workers suffered fatalities.
Because of the discontinuity presented by furlough and other impacts on data collection, no statistics on working days lost and the associated economic costs are included in this year’s statistics. Still, alternate research is already pointing to a dramatically rising curve. With COVID-19 continuing to have a significant impact on the workplace, the HSE is adopting two new measures to understand the contribution of the coronavirus pandemic to work-related ill health. These will estimate:
- COVID-19 due to exposure to coronavirus at work as reported by workers
- Other work-related illnesses caused or made worse by the effects of the coronavirus pandemic, as reported by workers, for example, changes in working conditions caused by the coronavirus pandemic.
A significant figure highlighted is the breakdown of figures for work-related illnesses and injuries. Of the 1.7 million new or long-standing cases, over 800,000 relate to stress, anxiety and depression. That’s more than half. If you were to look at your current health and safety procedures, do they show the same consideration to mental health that they do physical wellbeing?
HSE’s Chief Executive, Sarah Albon, notes:
“The latest figures on work-related stress reinforce our previous concerns around the scale of this issue in workplaces. Just last month, we announced our new Working Minds campaign, in partnership with a number of key organisations, to help employers make recognising the signs of work-related stress routine.”
Companies have already started to recognise the importance of mental health in the workplace. Still, there is a renewed sense of urgency with the HSE’s annual report that should be lighting a fire under every employer.
Without clear, decisive action and a commitment that encompasses both physical and mental welfare, companies are risking the safety of their businesses, as well as their employees. Addressing these concerns at the root can help ensure a safe, happy, productive business staffed by employees who recognise the value their employers have for them.
These statistics reinforce the importance of health and safety within the workplace and the necessity to continue investing in new products, technology, and solutions. By working with Be-Safe, you can take the guesswork out of your processes and streamline a well-rounded approach to workplace health and safety.