Standard Industrial Classification 2007 (SIC 2007)
Since April 2010 HSE has classified industries using SIC 2007 rather than SIC 1992 and SIC 2003. Earlier data, collected using SIC 1992/2003, has been computer recoded into SIC 2007 to show trends. There may be errors as a result of such recoding and we will identify any series which are significantly affected.
In April 2010 HSE began to use the SIC 2007 industry classification scheme. This page explains:
What is SIC 2007?
We have been using a Standard Industrial Classification to group businesses by their activity since before the Health and Safety at Work Act. (We need to group industries to enable us to target businesses of a particular type in our inspections and programmes as well as to produce meaningful statistics).
Why are we changing it?
The classification scheme has been updated regularly since its introduction in 1948 as the mix of industry and commerce has changed. Since 1992 it has been consistent with the European industry classification scheme (NACE) which, in turn, is based on the United Nations International Standard Industrial Classification (ISIC). (The UK is required to implement changes to NACE and the Office of National Statistics coordinated the charge over.)
What are the key changes?
The changes between SIC (2003) and SIC (2007) are too numerous to list but, key ones include:
- Agriculture and Fishing - The old sections for agriculture and fishing have been combined. However, the detail under this new section has been substantially increased1. The main practical change is that landscape services has been moved to Section N - Administrative and Support Service Activities. This accounts for about 13% of agricultural employment.
- Manufacturing - New divisions have been created for new industries, or old ones with increased significance. Manufacture of basic pharmaceutical products and pharmaceutical preparations (21) and Manufacture of computer, electronic and optical products (26) are examples. Recycling has been moved from manufacturing to the new Section E - see below.
- Repair and installation - This used to be classified with manufacturing, but is now classified as a separate part of manufacture bringing all businesses doing mainly repair and installation of machinery and equipment together (33). There is no easy way to separate repair and installation activities from manufacturing in old records and so this may result in a discontinuity in any recoded back series.
- Water supply; sewerage, waste management and remediation activities (E) - There has been a massive increase in recycling since the early 1990s. This is reflected in its move from Section D, 'Manufacturing', in SIC 2003 and its brigading with other related activities in Section E, under SIC 2007.
- Repair of household goods - This has been moved from Wholesale and retail trade; to Section S - Other service activities. (This also includes Computer repair activities.)
- Information and communication - The explosion of ICT activities is reflected in a new section (J) which includes publishing, film and broadcasting activities and news agencies, in addition to telecommunication and computer related activities.
- Human health and social work activities - Now includes more detail with three divisions instead of one. The focus has also been narrowed to include only human health activities. As a result, veterinary activities have been moved to a new division in section M (Professional, scientific and technical activities).
- Real estate activities - This moves from the service sector to Construction - Development of building projects.
- Retail sale of automotive fuel - Until now, this activity has been considered part of the motor trade. It is now considered very much a retail activity - and so is classified to Group 47.3 (Retail sale of automotive fuel in specialised stores).
What are the implications of the changes?
- Agricultural service activities As explained above agricultural employment is about 13% lower than under SIC 2007. Early indications are that changes in rates are not directly related to the employment change - probably because the risk to agricultural workers is higher than that to landscape workers. On the other hand the level of reporting is probably higher in landscape services. The results are, therefore, likely to be different for fatal and non-fatal injuries, with an apparent increase in the agricultural fatal injury rate and decrease in the non-fatal rates.
- Movement of real estate services to construction SIC2003 class 70.11, the development and selling of real estate, has moved from Section K under SIC2003 (Real estate, renting and business activities) to Section F under SIC 2007 (Construction). This results in a transfer of about 200,000 employees from real estate services to construction. This will have the effect of reducing incidence rates in construction slightly as the risk of injury in real estate is much lower.
- RIDDOR reports have been coded using SIC2007 since April 2010, but those for earlier years were classified under SIC2003. To enable trends to be assessed:
- back series will be provided, where necessary, by mapping between the old and new SIC codes;
- this mapping has been done by computer using the most likely match between the coding schemes to provide information on injury trends over time;
- not all of the old industry codes can be easily mapped to the new ones;
- there are similar issues with employment estimates as only the most recent were calculated using the new SIC codes. This means that rates may suffer from two sources of error;
- this recoding may introduce errors when looking at trends or comparing industries;
- we will clearly annotate any series which we believe to have been significantly affected.
- The Labour Force Survey (LFS) results have been coded by the Office for National Statistics (ONS) using SIC 2007 and they have been using a new automated coding tool, since January 2009.
In 2011, 2008/09-2010/11 self-reported work-related illness and workplace injury estimates and rates were published for the first time using SIC2007. Results for earlier years were also made available at section level using a mapping exercise from SIC 92/2003 to SIC2007.
A full explanation of the implementation of SIC 2007 and the impact on the LFS can be found on the ONS website in the LFS User Guide - Volume 3.
Where can I find out more?
You can find out more about the change and SIC2007 at the Office for National Statistics website and, in particular, in the:
1. Mostly because agriculture is so important in many developing countries and SIC2007 is based on an international standard (ISIC).