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Health and Safety

Executi ve
Handling injuries in Great Britain, 2013

Contents
Summary 2
Handling 3
Handling injuries by industry (2012/13 provisional) 3
Handling injuries by occupation 4
Enforcement action on handling risks 5
Ill health 6
Links to data sources and tables 8
















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Summary
The information in this document relates to Health and Safety Statistics for 2012/13. The document can be found
at: www.hse.gov.uk/statistics/causinj/handling-injuries.pdf. In 2012/13, the RIDDOR reporting system changed.
This may have had effects on data quality and the definition of injury kinds
1
.
(www.hse.gov.uk/statistics/sources.htm#riddor provides further explanation).
This document gives an overview of handling injuries to employees that were reported to all RIDDOR enforcing
authorities in 2012/13p.
Handling is a broad category of work-related injury. It accounts for more than one in five of all workplace injuries.
Handling injuries include: injuries due to lifting, carrying, pushing or pulling loads; strains; sprains; trapped fingers
and cuts from sharp objects.
In 2012/13p:

Seven percent of major and more than a quarter of over seven day injuries to employees involved handling
(1 418 major, 16 051 over seven day.) There was one fatal injury. (RIDDOR)

Over 90% of the 17 470 handling injuries were over seven day injuries. (RIDDOR)

Handling caused a lower proportion of reported injuries (22%) than the previous five years average (31%).
Self-reported injury rates were significantly lower than in 2007/08 to 2009/10, suggesting there may have
been a real reduction, rather than merely an effect of the new RIDDOR system. (RIDDOR, LFS)

The latest 3 year averaged estimates from the Labour Force Survey (LFS) showed an estimated 55 000
reportable handling injuries resulted in more than three days absence from work. This was a handling injury
rate of 190 per 100 000 workers. (LFS)

An estimated 1.6 million working days were lost due to handling injuries. The estimated average number of
days lost for each handling injury was 10.8 days. (LFS)
Figure 1 Estimated working days lost, by kind of injury, 2012/13 (LFS: INJKIND2
2
)


1
Main sources of coding discontinuities:
2011/12 Mid year change in RIDDOR reporting system. Injury definitions now reflect reporters
interpretation of Kind codes more directly than was the case when ICC applied data quality checks.
2012/13 Change in RIDDOR reporting requirements for lost time injuries from over three days to over
seven days.
2
Based on a three year pooled average 2010/11 to 2012/13. www.hse.gov.uk/statistics/lfs/injkind2.xls

Handling
Manual handling injuries include: strains; sprains; lifting, carrying, pushing or pulling loads; trapped fingers and
cuts from sharp objects.
Since the introduction of a new RIDDOR coding system (2011/12) and a change in the definition of lost time
injuries (2012/13), injury numbers and rates cannot be directly compared with earlier years. The main impacts of
the new system on handling statistics were:

handling was formerly the most common kind of lost time injury reported. In 2012/13, this is no longer the
case, due to the reduction in numbers of lost time injuries with the change to over seven day reporting;

a lower proportion of injuries were classed as handling and a greater proportion classed as Unknown or
Other. However, LFS estimates also show significantly lower handling injury rates than in 2007/08 - 2009/10,
suggesting there may have been a real reduction in injuries (RIDDOR, LFS); and

the loss of handling sub-category information. Before 2011/12, handling was subdivided into more detailed
kinds, such as lifting or putting down loads.
Table 1 Handling, lifting and carrying injuries, 2012/13p (RIDDOR)
Injury Employee Self-employed Workers
Members of the
public
Fatal 1 - 1 -
Major 1 418 54 1 472
Over seven day 16 051 115 16 166
722
Total 17 470 169 17 639 722
Handling injuries by industry (2012/13 provisional)

Health & social care, manufacturing and transportation & storage together accounted for more than half of
reported employee handling injury numbers, but less than a third of employees. (RIDDOR)

Health & social care had the highest number of reported handling injuries in 2012/13p (3 539).
Figure 2 Industries with highest rates of handling injury to employees, 2012/13p (RIDDOR)
Total handling injuries
Standard Industrial
Classification (2007)
Section
Handling injury rate per 100 000
employees
732 Water supply; waste 354.3
3038 Transport & storage 257
3135 Manufacturing 120
3539 Health & social care 97.8
85 Mining, quarrying 84.5
1029 Construction 83.9
110 Agriculture 70.2
2414 Wholesale & retail 68



The highest rate of injury was in water & waste (water supply, sewerage, waste management & remediation)
despite relatively low numbers of injuries.

Transportation & storage had the next highest rate. In the five years from 2006/07 to 2010/11, it had the
highest rate, followed by water & waste.

Injury rates in both these industries were more than double the rate in manufacturing, the sector with the third
highest rate.
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Handling injuries by occupation
In 2012/13p:

Elementary storage occupations had the highest numbers of handling injuries, (2 000) more than the next two
occupations: retail assistants (709) and care workers (700) combined. The rate of handling injury in
elementary storage occupations was also high, at 525.5 per 100 000 employees.

Nurses and care and nursing assistants, taken together, accounted for 11% of the total (1 887). The combined
rate of injuries for these occupations was 124.5 per 100 000 employees.

This is much lower than the rates of handling injury to ambulance staff (1 767.7) and paramedics (1 726.9).
Table 2 Known occupations with most reported handling injuries 2012/13p (RIDDOR)
SOC2010 4-digit occupations Major
Over-7-
day
Total
% of
handling
majors
% of
handling
over-7-
day
% of
handling
Total
9260 - Elementary storage occupations 153 1 847 2 000 11% 12% 11%
7111 - Sales & retail assistants 97 612 709 7% 4% 4%
6141 - Nursing auxiliaries & assistants 21 679 700 1% 4% 4%
6145 - Care workers & home carers 29 584 613 2% 4% 4%
2231 - Nurses 11 563 574 1% 4% 3%
9235 - Refuse & salvage occs 32 466 498 2% 3% 3%
8211 - Large goods vehicle drivers 36 450 486 3% 3% 3%
8239 - Other drivers & transport
operatives nec
22 458 480 2% 3% 3%
8111 - Food, drink & tobacco process
operatives
22 406 428 2% 3% 2%
5223 - Metal working production &
maintenance fitters
58 367 425 4% 2% 2%
7219 - Customer service occs nec 43 376 419 3% 2% 2%
3213 - Paramedics 12 360 372 1% 2% 2%
8212 - Van drivers 31 336 367 2% 2% 2%
9272 - Kitchen & catering assistants 34 300 334 2% 2% 2%
9233 - Cleaners & domestics 19 312 331 1% 2% 2%
6142 - Ambulance staff (excl paramedics) 4 283 287 0% 2% 2%
9211 - Postal workers, mail sorters,
messengers & couriers
9 249 258 1% 2% 1%
8149 - Construction operatives nec 33 199 232 2% 1% 1%
8117 - Metal making & treating process
operatives
21 200 221 1% 1% 1%
3239 - Welfare & housing assoc
professionals nec
9 204 213 1% 1% 1%
8119 - Process operatives nec 18 185 203 1% 1% 1%
All other occupations <200 injuries 704 6 615 7 319 50% 41% 42%
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Enforcement action on handling risks

The Manual Handling Operations Regulations 1992 (MHO) require employers and employees to reduce the
risks of injury from manual handling as far as reasonably practicable. In 2012/13 there were no completed
cases under MHO.
Table 3 Enforcement cases instituted
3
under the Manual Handling Operations Regulations
(2006/07 - 2012/13p)
Cases
Cases with a
conviction for 1 or
more offences
Conviction %
rate for cases
heard
Average fine per
conviction (case
level)
2007/08
1 1 100% 3 000
2008/09
3 3 100% 2 833
2009/10
- - - -
2010/11
1 1 100% 1 500
2011/12
1 1 100% 3 000
2012/13p
- - - -
Table 4 Prosecutions instituted under the Manual Handling Operations Regulations at an offence level
(2007/08 - 2012/13p)
Offences
Number of
offences
Conviction % rate
Average fine per
conviction (offence
level)
2007/08
1 1 100% 3 000
2008/09
4 4 100% 2 125
2009/10
- - - -
2010/11
1 1 100% 1 500
2011/12
1 1 100% 3 000
2012/13p
- - - -


Table 4 shows that there were about a third as many notices issued under MHO in 2012/13p as the average
number for the previous five years.
Table 5 Number of enforcement notice with requirements quoting the Manual Handling Operations
Regulations (2007/08 - 2012/13p)
Improvement
Deferred
prohibition
Immediate
prohibition
Total notices
2007/08
133 - 23 156
2008/09
87 - 17 104
2009/10
79 - 25 104
2010/11
62 1 8 71
2011/12
43 - 12 55
Average
2007/08 2011/12
81 - 17 98
2012/13p
26 6 32


3
Prosecutions heard in the relevant year, and where a result has been secured, i.e. the prosecution has been
completed.
Ill health
Handling is particularly associated with work-related Ill health due to musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs). The
latest LFS 3 year averaged estimates (2009/10 to 2011/12) show:

more than a third of MSDs were caused by handling (LFS MSDMHW1_3YR);

an estimated 222 000 total cases of work related MSDs were caused by manual handling (LFS);

an estimated total case rate of 740 per 100 000 workers (LFS).
Figure 3 Estimated total cases of self-reported musculoskeletal disorders caused or made worse by
work, 3 year average 2009/10 to 2011/12 (LFS)


About half of the estimated 210 000 total cases of MSDs mainly affecting the back were caused by handling.
Handling caused an estimated 112 000 total cases of MSDs mainly affecting the back.
(LFS, BACKMHW1_3YR)

Figure 4 Estimated total cases of self-reported musculoskeletal disorders mainly affecting the back,
caused or made worse by work, 3 year average 2009/10 to 2011/12) (LFS)
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Nearly a third of the estimated total cases of MSDs mainly affecting the upper limbs or neck, were caused by
handling. That is an estimated 80 000 out of 202 000 total cases (LFS ULNMHW1_3YR)

Figure 5 Estimated total cases of self-reported musculoskeletal disorders mainly affecting the upper
limbs or neck, caused or made worse by work, averaged 2009/10 to 2011/12 (LFS)






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Links to data sources and tables
.
Data Sources Web Address (URL)
Labour Force Survey
(LFS) www.hse.gov.uk/statistics/sources.htm#lfs
Voluntary reporting of
occupational diseases by
specialist doctors (THOR) www.hse.gov.uk/statistics/sources.htm#thor
Voluntary reporting of
occupational diseases by
General Practitioners
(THOR GP) www.hse.gov.uk/statistics/sources.htm#odin
RIDDOR (The Reporting
Of Injuries, Diseases and
Dangerous Occurrences
Regulations 1995) www.hse.gov.uk/statistics/sources.htm#riddor
Tables Web Address (URL)
RIDKIND1 www.hse.gov.uk/statistics/tables/ridkind1.xls
RIDKIND2 - www.hse.gov.uk/statistics/tables/ridkind2.xls
RIDKIND3- www.hse.gov.uk/statistics/tables/ridkind3.xls
INJKIND1 www.hse.gov.uk/statistics/lfs/injkind1.xls
INJKIND1_3YR www.hse.gov.uk/statistics/lfs/injkind1_3yr.xls
INJKIND2 www.hse.gov.uk/statistics/lfs/injkind2.xls
MSDIND4_3YR www.hse.gov.uk/statistics/lfs/msdind4_3yr.xls
MSDMHW1_3YR www.hse.gov.uk/statistics/lfs/msdmhw_3yr.xls
ULNMHW1_3YR www.hse.gov.uk/statistics/lfs/msdmhw1_3yr.xls
ULNIND2_3YR www.hse.gov.uk/statistics/lfs/ulnind2_3yr.xls
www.hse.gov.uk/statistics/causinj/kinds-of-accident.htm Kinds of injury
www.hse.gov.uk/statistics/causinj/kinds-of-accident.pdf
Slips trips and falls www.hse.gov.uk/statistics/causinj/slips-trips-and-falls.pdf
Vehicle injuries www.hse.gov.uk/statistics/causinj/moving-vehicles.pdf
Handling injuries www.hse.gov.uk/statistics/causinj/handling-injuries.pdf
Handling injuries (finalised
for 2010/11)
www.hse.gov.uk/statistics/causinj/handlinginjuries-2006-07to2010-
11.pdf
Workplace transport
injuries (finalised for
2010/11) www.hse.gov.uk/statistics/causinj/workplace-transport.pdf
Other tables www.hse.gov.uk/statistics/tables/index.htm
Crown copyright If you wish to reuse this information visit www.hse.gov.uk/copyright.htm for details.
First published 10/13.



Published by the Health and Safety Executive V1 10/13
National Statistics
The RIDDOR and LFS figures in this report are National Statistics.
National Statistics are produced to high professional standards set out in the National Statistics Code of
Practice. They undergo regular quality assurance reviews to ensure that they meet customer needs. They
are produced free from any political interference.
An account of how the figures are used for statistical purposes can be found at
www.hse.gov.uk/statistics/sources.htm .
For information regarding the quality guidelines used for statistics within HSE see
www.hse.gov.uk/statistics/about/quality-guidelines.htm
A revisions policy and log can be seen at www.hse.gov.uk/statistics/about/revisions/
Additional data tables can be found at www.hse.gov.uk/statistics/tables/.

Statistician: Stephen Wright
Contact: stephen.cosas.wright@hse.gsi.gov.uk

Last Update: October 2013
Next Update: October 2014