Health and safety can sometimes get a bad press and this is unfortunate, because without the legislation in place and the prominence it gets in training courses, the already high number of deaths and serious injuries in the workplace would be much higher still. Following guidance for every dangerous activity will help keep you safe, without necessarily making life dull and boring. Even so, some health and safety facts can be surprising – and sometimes just plain daft as our recent infographic proved. Here are 5 more which may surprise you.
#1 – More accidents happen at home than anywhere else.
This may sound pretty obvious and it is – there are more people at home at any given moment than at work. That said, the inner statistics of this sweeping statement are surprising and have no real reason behind them – stats are just sometimes like that! But this sobering thought is one to ponder: even if you buy a ticket every week in a year you are 20 times more likely to suffer a fatal home accident that you are to win the National Lottery!
#2 – And staying at home for a moment …
Boys are more likely than girls to have an accident at home and anyone who has ever had a teenage son will know why – they are like the proverbial bull in a china shop. But overall, females are more likely to be seriously injured or die in an accident at home, usually from a fall. Unpicking the statistic it all becomes clear – more accidents happen to the over 75s in the home than any other age group and as women live longer than men in actuarial terms, they account for more of this group and therefore the whole.
#3 – No surprises – roads are dangerous places
Statistics worldwide for road traffic accidents do not make pleasant reading – worldwide, two people die every minute of every day through a road traffic accident, and a hundred more are injured or disabled. Half of both of these numbers will be cyclists or pedestrians. But there is a way to minimise these appalling figures – with every 10 mph a motorist cuts their speed, the risk of death is reduced by 25% – at 20 mph nine out of 10 will survive impact; at 40, the stats are reversed, with only one surviving. A simple change can make a lot of difference.
#4 – Statistics can be injurious to health
Reading too much into statistics can make some people very anxious and if you are one of those, look away now! Some events are very rare and so to express them accurately is very difficult and of course there are regional and international variations. That said, it is estimated that, depending on location, you have a 1 in 136,011 chance of dying through being struck by lightning and this is usually the kind of phrase used to show something as being very unlikely. However, in the US, statistically you have a 1 in 96,203 chance of dying through legal execution, which just goes to show what nonsense statistics can be.
#5 – The ultimate statistic
When compiling causes of death, a careful statistician will include ‘all causes’, for which of course the answer is that we all have a 1 in 1 chance. The secret is in trying to live as safely as possible, to become one of the estimated 13000 centenarians alive in the UK today!