There is a potential for accidents and injuries to happen in any small business. These incidents can be minor or major, but however trivial or severe they are, it is clearly in everyone’s interests to prevent them wherever possible. We talk about Health and Safety, and managing your risks elsewhere on this site.
Earlier this year, the 2017 small business accident statistics were published. Based on consolidated claims data covering 1,000 small businesses, these statistics were provided by the business insurance sector. The data contains some interesting facts which are worth repeating here.
Accident claims are on the rise
The most sobering fact is that small business injury claim numbers are rising. There has been an increase in claim numbers of more than 40% over the last 5 years. On the face of it, this is a startling increase. However, this data needs to be treated with a little caution.
The data is based on the number of accident insurance claims made by 1,000 small businesses. This is not the same as the number of actual accidents. Some of the 40% increase in claims is almost certainly driven by the insurance industry itself, as they have simplified claims processes and increased advertising over the same period. This in turn has led to people being increasingly willing to claim for injury, when in the past they may have been reluctant. Having said that, the results are still rather alarming.
Detailed analysis of the data has revealed some little nuggets of information:
Monday is the worst day for accidents
You are three times more likely to have an accident on a Monday than any other day of the week. As the week progresses, the number of accidents reduces. It looks as though the Boomtown Rats got it right with their song; ‘I Don’t Like Mondays’!
Hairdressing is more dangerous than carpentry
Hairdressers and beauticians have more accidents than carpenters. Dog walkers, dog groomers and fitness instructors fare worse than construction workers. A fitness instructor is three times more at risk of injury than a bricklayer.
These results may not be so surprising – the construction industry is much more tightly regulated and subject to scrutiny than beauty or pet care. Construction has a dark past, with a history of major injuries and disasters. The chances of being maimed or killed in a nail bar or pet parlour are lower.
It’s more dangerous up North
Liverpool is the most dangerous city to work in according to the claims data. Glasgow and Manchester are next on the list. Bristol is at the bottom of the league table, along with London.
This is a light-hearted review of some of the quirkier results arising from the accident claims data. The underlying message, however, is serious. Accidents can happen in any business, large or small. A preventable accident can have a serious impact upon a business.
Some types of work-related accidents must be reported under legislation called RIDDOR (Reporting of Injuries, Diseases and Dangerous Occurrences Regulations). This means that having an effective accident recording and reporting system is crucial. Luckily, accident recording does not have to be long-winded and time-consuming. Efficient software packages are available, which can record all the information in a usable form, and even inform you when the accident you are recording is reportable.
As a small business owner, you need to be aware of your responsibilities in relation to accidents and injuries, and be alive to the constantly changing legislation relating to health and safety. There is no need to try to navigate this minefield on your own – professional help is at hand.
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