One in Ten Injured at Work

A survey by insurer AXA has found that one in ten people has been injured at work in the past five years. The most common accidents were slips, falls and trips, which were responsible for 33 per cent of all injuries. Kitchen accidents accounted for 19 per cent and those involving lifting 11 per cent of the total. Attention is drawn to the duty of care that employers have to reduce accidents such as these by introducing safer workplace practices.

The survey questioned 41,541 UK employees about their workplace injuries. 34 per cent of the reported injuries suffered in the last five years were musculoskeletal disorders, such as sprained muscles, back pain and strains. 28 per cent were cuts, whilst burns accounted for 21 percent, broken bones 11 per cent and loss of mobility 6 per cent of the injuries.

One of the surprising trends, according to the survey, was that as many as 8 per cent of workplace injuries resulted from physical attacks on employees by either their colleagues or by customers. In some sectors, such as professional services, 15 per cent of those who had suffered an injury had been assaulted by a customer.

A link was found between the size of the company and the likelihood of suffering an injury, it being more dangerous to work for a larger organisation. The survey found that those working for companies with 250 employees or more had nearly twice the chance of suffering an injury as had those working for companies with between 10 and 250 employees. In line with this trend, the smallest companies, with 9 employees or fewer, had the lowest rates of workplace injury.

Age may be a further risk factor when it comes to workplace injuries. Employees over the age of 50 were most likely to suffer a fall at work (47 per cent) compared with 18-29 year-olds (28 per cent), who were the least likely.

It is clear from these figures that whilst many companies pay lip service to health and safety regulations, more could be done to prevent accidents at work.

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