Home>Premises>Risk Management>Unsafe working conditions among UK manufacturing industry?

Unsafe working conditions among UK manufacturing industry?

23 August 2016

Unsafe working conditions among British manufacturers are putting the health of its workers in serious danger, according to a new report.

Personal injury solicitors Hayward Baker commissioned an in-depth study into the conditions of Britain’s shop floors, offices, factories, warehouses and building sites - and discovered a staggering 81% of workers from the manufacturing industry claim their workplace to be a health hazard.

Half of all factory workers surveyed said they had suffered from an injury at work, with almost a third (32%) having been to hospital due to a work-related illness or injury.

The research identifies that the average employee in the manufacturing industry has had 3 accidents at work, with 2 of those accidents having happened in the last 12 months alone.

Findings to have emerged from the study regarding their workplace injury show slippery floors or stairs (24%), obstructions (16%) and cluttered floors (11%) were all cited as causes.

The serious issue of factory workers’ health and safety protection - or lack of it in this case -  worsens as 24% said manual handling large, heavy items incorrectly and without the right equipment contributed to their injury.

Defective equipment counted towards 13% of workplace injuries among employees among the manufacturing industry and 10% said they had unsatisfactory tools to carry out their job.

More than one in 10 (11%) workers from manufacturing companies said they had not had a risk assessment to carry out their job, which means their employers are contravening important health and safety legislation.

More than half (56%) of those employed by manufacturers polled have regularly complained to their bosses about the state of their place of work, with a further 25% saying their manager did nothing to rectify the situation.

A spokesperson for Hayward Baker, which commissioned the research, said: “Going to work could seriously damage the health of employees that work in a manufacturing environment if their managers fail to take working conditions seriously enough."

According to the research, a quarter (25%) have sought legal advice after suffering from injury within a manufacturing or factory environment, claiming an average of £20,071.

Common ‘minor’ workplace injuries in the manufacturing industry are cuts (29%), strained backs (25%), bruises (16%), small burns (15%), repetitive strain industry (12%) and whiplash (11%).

However, there were accidents among the sample that were considered ‘moderate’ by the solicitors and serious enough to make a claim against their employer, with almost a third (30%) explaining that either a broken bone or fracture was a direct result of their injury.

The more ‘severe’ accidents that followed an injury at work in a manufacturing environment include dislocations (8%) and a further 6% said they had lost a limb or body part as a result of their injury.

A third (33%) said that the accident at work was their employer's fault while almost a fifth (17%) said their accident was their own fault.