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The Bulletin HEALTH AND SAFETY

Regional Appeals by HSE to Mark 40th Anniversary The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) has made a series of appeals to businesses in various parts of Britain, based on the latest available regional workplace safety figures, in order to mark the 40th anniversary of the safety watchdog. Asking businesses to “make the well-being of workers their top priority for the new financial year,” the HSE contrasted a number of regional health and safety figures with the national averages while noting that the main driver of differences in health and safety risk is a person’s occupation and not where in Great Britain they work. Nevertheless, the regional variations make for interesting observation. ●● The East Midlands, South West, North East and Yorkshire and the Humber regions have higher average rates of ill health than the average British rate. In contrast, Scotland and London have statistically significantly lower than average rates. ●● In the case of non-fatal injuries, the East Midlands and South West regions have higher rates than the average British rate and London has a rate which is statistically significantly lower. ●● The highest rates of fatal injuries in 2013/14 were in Scotland and Yorkshire and the

Humber and the same areas have the highest rates averaged over a five year period. Nationally, across Great Britain, there were 133 deaths at work in 2013/14, more than 79,500 injuries were formally reported and over 1.1 million people are estimated to have been made ill. The HSE pointed out that this is a huge reduction from when HSE was formally established in January 1975. In 1974/75 a total of 651 employees alone were killed (not including self-employed workers). A source at the HSE said, “The stark decline is welcome, but local employers are being urged to review whether they can do more to protect their workforce.” The full statistics, including comparisons to previous years, are available online at http:// www.hse.gov.uk/statistics/.

The Challenges of Ageing at Work The European Agency for Safety and Health at Work (EU-OSHA) has published a new series of infographics on the challenges of ageing at work, for each of 31 European countries, including the UK. The 31 country infographics highlight thought-provoking facts and figures about the working conditions and health, labour market participation and policies linked to ageing at work in each European country featured. A final infographic illustrates the full EU landscape of the subject. The infographics form part of the Agency’s visualisation tool on ageing and occupational safety and health, which was released earlier in 2017, in support of EU-OSHA’s current two-year Healthy Workplaces for All Ages campaign for 2016/17 focusing on sustainable

work and healthy ageing. The infographic for the UK highlights a number of interesting points about working conditions, ageing and health at work in the UK. ●● In the UK, around 23% of workers think their health is negatively affected by work (compared to around 27% for the EU as a whole). ●● Some 17% of workers in the UK think they will not be able to do the same job at 60 (this figure is 22% for the EU).

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●● Around 39% of people in the UK think that age discrimination is widespread, compared with 45% in the EU. ●● In the UK, health and safety is discussed regularly between workers and management in 80% of establishments, compared with 59% in the EU. ●● The average age of the UK population is increasing slower than that of the EU average. ●● The population of older people is expected to grow moderately from 2040 in the UK.

July / August 2017