Between 1900 and 2021 there has been an estimated reduction of workplace fatalities by around an enormous 90%! ¹ From about 4,400 fatalities in 1900 down to 142 for the year 2020/21 ². That is a fantastic result for workplace safety.
However, there are still many workplace related injuries that do not result in a fatality. According to the Labour Force Survey (LFS) of 2020/21 there were 441,000 self-reported non-fatal injuries acquired at work and Reporting of Injuries, Diseases and Dangerous Occurrences Regulations (RIDDOR) had 51,211 non-fatal injuries reported by employers for the same period ⁴.
That is a massive 492,211 injuries over the year, averaging 1,349 a day!
Let’s break those injuries down into injury type.
51% of employer reported non-fatal injuries to employees throughout 2020/21 were the result of only two accident types; slip, trip or fall on same level accidents (33%) and handling, lifting or carrying accidents (18%) ⁶. Interestingly, these two accident kinds accounted for 3% of fatal injuries to workers over the period 2016/17-2020/21.⁷
What could have caused the drop in fatality figures?
One factor could be the rise in use of lone worker safety solutions. An even bigger factor could be the safety solutions that have the ‘Man Down’ feature.
Man down (worker down) systems are calibrated to detect movement, or a lack of movement. Using a worker’s own phone (iPhone or Android) the Man Down feature can be set to a period of time (1 minute- 1 hour) by the worker and if there has been no movement within that timeframe an alarm sounds. This alarm allows the worker to check in and verify they are fine. If the worker does not respond to the alarm, then an alert is sent to their supervisor saying there has been no movement.
How could this have impacted on fatality figures?
Slips, trips or falls on the same level were the most commonly reported non-fatal accident kind across all broad industry sectors in 2020/21 resulting in 33% of accidents. If a worker on their own has a slip, trip or fall on the same level and is seriously injured, knocked unconscious and bleeding how can they call for help? They can’t and could therefore become one of the 3% of fatalities unless someone else happens along.
However, if they have a safety solution with the man down feature, they would receive an alarm after their set time, if they did not respond their supervisor would be alerted and if they did not respond to them, someone would be sent to find them. Drastically reducing the chances of fatality.
This feature is available through the Ok Alone lone worker safety solution. Using Ok Alone allows workers to request immediate assistance through their ‘Help’ button, check in at set times to inform their supervisors they are fine, turn on ‘High Risk’ if they are entering an area they deem more dangerous and use ‘Man Down’ to ensure someone will be alerted if they can’t call for help.