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Annie Hayes

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Twelve million injured at work

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Over the last 12 months 11.8 million people in the UK have suffered from an illness or injury as a direct result of their job.

This is according to research by insurer RSA which showed that 36 million working days were lost in 2006 and 2007 due to sickness or injury caused in the workplace.

A quarter (26%) of those taken ill at work suffered stress and anxiety whilst another quarter reported back problems.

Over half (54%) of those injured at work have sued their employer. In a similar survey out today it is reported that annual payouts for accidents and injuries cost the economy £7.8 billion, which is the equivalent of £250 per second. The British Safety Council point out that this figure would allow for 10 new hospitals to be built every year.

Worryingly research conducted by The British Red Cross has also revealed that things are set to get worse. Less than 50% of businesses surveyed are aware of imminent changes to health and safety regulations.

From October 2009 the traditional structure of the first aid at work qualification will change. Guidelines governing the number and category of first aid trained staff will also be updated and businesses will be expected to both be aware of, and adhere to, the adapted legislation.

Brian Nimick, chief executive of the British Safety Council said ‘confusion’ added to the problems: “The problem is that businesses, particularly those of a small or medium size, are overwhelmed by the mountains of confusing red tape.”

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Annie Hayes

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