Wales is the riskiest place to run a business in Great Britain, according to HR, payroll and health & safety specialist Moorepay.
Moorepay analysed data from the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) and the Office for National Statistics (ONS) to create a health & safety business risk rating for each area in Great Britain. The research included data relating to accidents & fatalities, prosecutions, work related illness and mental health.
Against a national average of 49 (out of 100), Wales scored 72 and had five out of the 10 most dangerous areas in Great Britain – the most dangerous of which was Blaenau Gwent in South Wales with a score of 95. London came lowest with a score of 26, and also held nine in 10 of the least risky areas – the City of London was the least dangerous, with a score of 7.
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“Welsh businesses are struggling with wellbeing in the workplace in almost all forms, including accidents, health and mental health. This suggests they aren’t implementing the right processes to protect their staff. These processes don’t have to be costly or time intensive, in fact, effective systems rely on simplicity and feedback,”
said Phil Barker, Head of Health & Safety Services at Moorepay.
“The most effective way to combat risk at work is through comprehensive risk assessments and ensuring rigorous systems are in place. This includes having up-to-date documentation, tools, plans and an understanding of how to apply the relevant legislation. Data and employee analytics have also become vital to predicting and mitigating risk, particularly around mental health. Doing so will have a positive impact on the wellbeing of your employees, increasing productivity and the bottom-line. Business owners are also culpable if health and safety standards are not met. Introducing these kinds of changes guards against local authority enforcement and HSE prosecutions – including potential costs and fines of £1m+, and jail terms for business owners and/or directors.”
Accidents and fatal injury cost the UK a staggering £5.3 billion in 2016-2017 according the HSE, representing a huge outgoing. For such issues, Wales again came out worst with a score of 9 out of 20 – with Blaenau Gwent topping the list once more with a maximum score of 20. The South of England pipped London to be the least accident-prone region, with an average score of 5, while they also had the safest area, with West Somerset scoring 0.
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Over 11 million days are lost at work a year because of stress, costing the UK economy well over £5 billion each year. In terms of health and wellbeing – including reported illness, stress, depression and anxiety caused or made worse by work – Wales again fared the worst of any region, with a score of 27 (out of 30), and London best with 2.
“Businesses must wake up to the cost of risk at work. Supporting staff is not just a matter of improving their wellbeing, it also directly and indirectly affects their performance. Not having effective systems in place exposes businesses to potential prosecution and can severely impact the culture and motivation of employees,” added Phil Barker, Head of Health & Safety Services at Moorepay.
To find out the Health & Safety Risk Rank for your Local Area please see: