Accidents in warehouses – the statistics

Every year, the Health and Safety Executive releases figures detailing the number of workplace accident across different sectors and in different environments. In 2009-10 there were 8500 accidents in warehouses and road haulage around the country, of which 19% were classed as serious. However, of these, only around 160 major accidents related to warehouses specifically and 800 accident led to injuries which required three or more days off work. The figures were 2010-11 were very similar.

Around 18% of the serious accidents in warehouses led to HGV drivers becoming injured with the injuries including broken bones and amputations and even proving life threatening in some cases. Out of the 800 accidents requiring three days or more off work, 8% were HGV drivers.

Between 2006 and 2011, the figures for serious accidents have been alarmingly consistent and in the past 12 months there has even been a slight increase. However, the number of accidents requiring absences has almost halved.

The factors causing these different accidents are very different. 1 in 4 serious accidents in warehouses is caused by a slip or trip, whilst 1 in 5 results from manual handling, 4 in 25 result from falls from height, 13 in 100 result from falling objects and1 in 10 results from being struck by a vehicle. By contrast, manual handling equates to 9 in every 20 accidents requiring absences, with slips and trips accounting for nearly 1 in 5, falls accounting for nearly 3 in 20 and other causes all coming in at under 1 in 10 accidents each.

Many of the largest and most well-renowned warehouses are becoming increasingly strict when it comes to health and safety with employees who fall short of health and safety standards only a handful of times often being dismissed. This may appear too harsh however it does drive down the number of employees who are injured as a result of accidents at work. Ultimately, it must be said that the number of warehouse accidents in the UK is not very high but the fact remains that these work related accidents could be prevented.

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