Work-related injury statistics in UK small businesses: claims data reveals a 41% rise over the last 5 years

Our data reveals a 41 per cent rise in small business injuries over the past five years, with some very susprising results about which trades are the most dangerous.

New research from our claims team has revealed that hairdressers and beauticians are seven times more likely to have a workplace accident than carpenters, and that Liverpool is the likeliest place to have an accident, with Glasgow just behind.

Most accidents happen on a Monday

The research (taken from our 2015-2016 customer injury and accident claims data) also shows that small businesses are 37 per cent more likely to have accidents on a Monday, with slip-ups and injuries tailing off towards the weekend.

Accidents and injuries related to our customers’ businesses have increased by 41 per cent in the last five years, despite 2016 seeing a drop. Whether it’s an increase in caution, good luck or something else we can’t be sure, but the hope is that small businesses will continue to see a decline in workplace accidents across 2017.

Hairdressing, dog walking, and fitness instructing more dangerous than construction?

Simply Business covers over 1,000 trades and professions. From decorating and carpentry to pub landlords and dog walkers, no one is immune to an accident or injury at their workplace.

But the detailed analysis our data has revealed a few quirky comparisons in relative workplace safety — perhaps surprising, given that construction-based jobs are more often associated with accidents than pet parlours or nail salons.

Here are a few of the most striking:

  • Fitness instructors are three times more likely to have an accident at work than bricklayers

  • Hairdressers and beauticians are seven times more likely to have an accident at work than carpenters

  • Dog walkers, kennel owners and pet parlours are three times more likely to have an accident at work than lorry drivers

Work-related accidents more likely in the North

Our data has also revealed a regional twist. Analysing 10 of the UK’s biggest cities, it looks like Liverpool comes off worst for accidents, with Glasgow and Manchester just behind.

Bristol meanwhile is looking good, with the least reported slip-ups, while London also sits further down the list.

Ranking - Likelihood to have an accident at work City
1 Liverpool
2 Glasgow
3 Manchester
4 Birmingham
5 Bradford
6 Edinburgh
7 Leeds
8 London
9 Sheffield
10 Bristol

Workplace accident ‘could put a small business owner out of work’

For small businesses, and sole traders especially, an accident or injury at work can have serious implications.

“Whether it’s time away from work, or reputational damage, a workplace accident could potentially put a small business owner out of work.” said Fiona McSwein, Simply Business Chief Customer Officer.

“No matter how careful small business owners are, we know that any work carries risks. That’s why we’re proud to be insuring not just businesses, but the livelihoods of the self-employed people behind them, offering peace of mind should the worst happen with the likes of public liability, employers’ liability, and personal accident insurance.

And, as our data has revealed, accidents can happen to anyone.

“Even businesses that many would consider low-risk - such as hairdressing or dog walking - carry the risk of injury,” said McSwein. “And it’s particularly surprising when compared to manual trades like bricklaying or carpentry.

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