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Electrical contractors show further fall in reportable accidents

Further reduction in accident rates for 2018

23 July 2019


The latest accident statistics for electrical contracting businesses, employing over 13,000 operatives in total, show a further reduction in the accident rate in 2018. 

The figures, collected by the Joint Industry Board on behalf of leading electrotechnical trade body ECA and Unite the Union, show that the rate of RIDDOR-reportable accidents fell once again, to 164/100,000. Significantly, no fatalities were reported during 2018 and the rate of specified (major) accidents was also lower than in 2017 at just over 52/100,000. The main causes of injury were falls, slips and trips and there was one reportable injury due to electric shock. 

According to Steve Brawley, Chief Executive of the JIB: “It’s very encouraging to report that the rate of reportable accidents in our industry continues to fall, and it means that the rate of these accidents is now, remarkably, only slightly more than 10% of what it was in 2001, the year we started to collect data for the industry’s highly successful ‘ZAP safety initiative.”

Paul Reeve, ECA Director of CSR added: “Since the turn of the millennium, there has been near continuous improvement in the accident rate reported by participating companies. The 2018 figures mean that the accident rate has fallen nearly 90% since 2001, which is a great achievement. In fact, the number of RIDDOR-reportables - in a sample of over 13,500 operatives – is now so low that in 2019 we will be asking companies for additional details of any ‘over one day accidents’. While these accidents are not RIDDOR-reportable, this will give us more data to work with in future.”   

Rob Miguel, Unite National Health and Safety Advisor, added: “While these new figures are very welcome and show huge improvements in safety in the electrical contracting industry over the last two decades, JIB is also working to improve occupational health. 

“The JIB occupational health scheme provides operatives employed by a JIB member company with the opportunity to receive a fully funded occupational health assessment every three years. This facility, funded through the JIB Benefits Scheme, will deliver various benefits including improved compliance with health and safety law, meeting client and main contractor requirements and helping people to identify and remedy health issues at an earlier stage. This assessment looks for the effects on health that might be caused by situations people are exposed to at work, and highlights action which employers will need to take to protect the health and wellbeing of their employees and our members.”

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Background to the 2018 Reportable Accident Survey

Data from the latest JIB survey refers to companies which employ ‘31 or more’ operatives. This is the baseline data used since 2001, and the 2018 survey sample covered just over 13,500 employees working for companies in this sample. The 2018 statistics are expressed as the widely used ‘accident incidence ratio’ (AIR), the rate of accidents/100,000 employees. 

  • All RIDDOR-reportable accidents 164 (167 in 2017 and 216 in 2016). 24 reportable accidents were reported overall
  • Non-fatal ‘specified injury’ accidents (major injuries) 52.2 (53.7 in 2017). 7 major accidents were reported overall
  • ‘Over 7 day accidents’ 111.9 (113.9 in 2017). 17 reportable accidents were reported overall. 
  • The 2019 statistics will be expanded to capture data about ‘over one day absence accidents’.
  • The JIB will issue an occupational health report in 2020.

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