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April 16, 2015

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Yorkshire & the Humber “The most dangerous place to work in the UK”

moor-661424_640An analysis of HSE data from 2013-2014 by health and safety consultants Arinite has found that Yorkshire and the Humber is the most dangerous region for workers in the UK. This is based on an analysis of reported figures relating to workplace injury, stress and musculoskeletal disorders made worse or induced by work.

A total of 4,100 people per 100,000 workers in Yorkshire and the Humber reported work related stress or musculoskeletal disorders. In London, which has the lowest number of reported incidences for both types of work-related issues, only 2,160 incidences per 100,000 workers were reported. A full illustrative example of these figures can be viewed here .

According to health and safety expert Bryan Richards, “These figures come as a shock to many when you consider that we tend to think of London as filled with the ‘high-pressure’ jobs, and office work which commonly leads to back and neck injuries.”

“In fact, because London is filled with young businesses and industries which tend to adapt quickly, workers in London are more likely to feel that they can report any mental health issues easily, and also are given more opportunities to access equipment such as standing desks, which may alleviate back problems. Other regions, in which companies may be more long-standing, there is more difficulty adapting. Financial issues in these northern regions may also lead to more stress on managers and consequently employees.”

Of occupations linked to musculoskeletal issues, those in building trades, nursing, personal care and skilled agriculture trades were more likely to suffer. Health professionals – in particular nurses – were also most likely to suffer from work related stress, depression or anxiety, along with educational and social care professionals. Large companies had a lower prevalence of musculoskeletal issues, but higher incidences of stress.

According to Dr Sheri Jacobson, Clinical Director at Harley Therapy, when it comes to stress there are several reasons why London’s workers tend to suffer less: “There are a wonderful set of opportunities outside work for people living in London, and a variety of social activities that can be life enhancing

“There are fabulous parks that provide a range of activities, wonderful health centres and activities such as outdoor yoga. On top of this, higher pay rates in London create a high standard of living that allows people to enjoy life, eat good food and take trips.”

Lastly, in 2013/14 the total number of working days lost to musculoskeletal disorders was 8.3 million, with an average of 15.9 days absence taken per incident. For stress and anxiety, the average length of absence was 23 days a year – this amounted to 11.3 million working days lost for the UK as a whole.

What makes us susceptible to burnout?

In this episode  of the Safety & Health Podcast, ‘Burnout, stress and being human’, Heather Beach is joined by Stacy Thomson to discuss burnout, perfectionism and how to deal with burnout as an individual, as management and as an organisation.

We provide an insight on how to tackle burnout and why mental health is such a taboo subject, particularly in the workplace.


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Paul Cookson
Paul Cookson
9 years ago

Not a huge surprise when you think about it. Despite the amount of work done in London a lot of projects are run by the major contractors who are generally a lot hotter and stricter on H+S, with targets to meet and examples to lead by for their continuing business opportunities. They all ask for detailed RAMS and actually go through them and are far stricter on site supervision, which leads sub-contractors to follow suit for the risk of not getting the their business next time round.

Lindsay Gibson
Lindsay Gibson
9 years ago

It must be wonderful to live in less stress London with all its open spaces, parks and leisure facilities also being able to eat well, take trips and have all those life enhancing facilities.

Spoken from someone in Northumberland where it is all built up !! and the food is all fast and processed !! and life is so drab because of the low pay !!

Need I say more.

Bob Wallace
Bob Wallace
9 years ago

What a hyperbolic headline! I agree with Lindsay. There’s more space and beauty in and around Y&H than London and SE. Fabulous restaurants and facilities for exercise and yoga abound as well. This article appears poorly researched and has little or no genuine evidence to back the claims. I live in the SE and feel this is more to do with lifestyle choices that work! Having lived just outside Bradford through 1993 – 2002, with my children still living in Leeds; I see the lifestyle choices made by so many people in this area and it horrifies me. As a… Read more »