As many as one in ten British workers have been injured in the workplace in the past five years, new research reveals.
While the majority of injuries – 81 per cent – are caused by work-related accidents such as tripping over or using machinery, around eight per cent are caused by physical assault by a customer or a colleague, the report from Axa Insurance found.
Perhaps surprisingly, those most at risk are employees in the professional services industry – such as lawyers, consultants and accountants, with 15 per cent of these having been assaulted by a customer.
The study also found that employees who work for large companies are nearly twice as likely to suffer an injury as those working for small and medium-sized companies with ten to 250 members of staff.
Axa's risk control strategy manager, Douglas Barnett said: "These findings should make worrying reading for the business community. Accidents and injuries sustained in the workplace can be extremely costly for companies – through employees having to take time off work to recover or because of compensation pay outs."
A third of all workplace injuries were found to be caused by falls or trips, with employees over the age of 50 most likely to have a fall while doing their job.