Workers suffering from back pain? The true cost of lifting and handling injuries to your business

An image of statistics on UK workers' sick days

Do you know the cost a back injury has on your business? Workplace injuries happen and when they do, they can cost your business and employees thousands of pounds. Understanding the true impact these injuries can have on your business is the first step you can take to preventing them in the future.

Using data gathered by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) and Gov.uk, here are some statistics to consider.

How many days are lost from injuries?

In the 2019/20 reporting year in Great Britain, it is estimated that 38.8 million working days were lost due to work-related ill health and non-fatal injuries. Of these injuries, 6.3 million were categorised as non-fatal.

Stress, depression or anxiety and musculoskeletal disorders account for most days lost due to work-related ill health. On average, each person suffering took around 17.6 days off work, broken down into:

  • 9.1 days for injuries
  • 20.0 days for ill health cases
  • 21.6 days for stress, depression, or anxiety
  • 18.4 days for musculoskeletal disorders

About 1.6 million workers suffering with one of these illnesses believed it was caused or made worse by their work, with the rates of self-reported workplace injuries statistically significant across all industries, including construction and manufacturing.

What are the major causes of workplace injuries?

The most common type of workplace injury is caused by handling, lifting, or carrying a load. This makes up 20% of all common kinds of non-fatal workplace injuries.

Injuries and musculoskeletal disorders are common ailments manufacturing and construction injuries see their workers suffer from, so it is no surprise that 28% of these injuries are categorised as sprains and strains.

Sprains and strains can cover all parts of the body, so it is alarming to learn that 15% of all sprains and strains are injuries related to your back.

If you factor these together, the main workplace injury you will see in your business is a sprain or strain to someone’s back from handling, lifting, or carrying a load.

How much could workplace injuries cost you?

Now that you are aware of what injuries are most likely to affect your workplace and how many days your staff may be absent from, you can apply this to the true cost injuries can have on your business.

According to HSE, non-fatal injuries cost a business £1,400 on average per employee. But injuries that incapacitate an employee for over 7 days cost close to 4X as much at £5,100.

This gets worse when you look at your most common injury type, a sprain or strain to the back. This study shows that 96% of back injuries cause 7 days of incapacitation.

Evidently, workplace injuries can have a devastating impact on your business from a financial perspective, and that is before you consider the potential ramifications on your workers as individuals. It is essential that employers do everything they reasonably can to avoid that eventuality.

How to Avoid Lifting and Handling Injuries

Learning and following the correct lifting and handling methods for heavy loads can help prevent injuries and avoid back pain. Until you can provide materials handling equipment for your workers, offer training and guidance on how to lift safely.

The NHS and training sites like iHasco are designed to help your workers understand the impact lifting can have on their bodies. If you or your workers do have to lift manually remember to keep the load close to your waist, not to bend your back and to always ensure you feel comfortable to be able to lift.

Are you concerned lifting, handling, and carrying are one of the principal causes of workplace injuries in your business? Materials handling equipment can offer you a safer, more efficient operation. You can benefit from tools and devices that can remove the burden of lifting and handling for your workers. Take the strain off their backs and gain back days lost because of worker absence.

With Handling Concepts, you can rely on almost 30 years of experience providing lifting and handling equipment to construction and manufacturing businesses around the globe. A comprehensive selection of services is available to you to help you reduce the risk of injuries to your workers, remain compliant with health and safety legislation and save costs associated with worker absence.

Contact Handling Concepts today and discuss your requirements with a team of industry leading engineers. Or visit the products page and learn more about the options available to you to reduce one of the major causes of workplace injuries.

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