The current state of workplace ill health – HSE Statistics

The number of ill health incidents occurring in UK workplaces is still too high, says the Health and Safety Executive (HSE). The highest-risk sectors include manufacturing and construction.

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Written by: alcumus
10th January

The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) recently released its annual injury and ill health statistics for Great Britain. The report revealed that 28.2 million working days were lost due to work-related illness and workplace injury in 2018/19.

Figures show that in the UK currently, there are 1.4 million workers suffering from ill health caused by occupational tasks. New cases of work-related ill health generate annual costs of £9.8billion (excluding long latency illness such as cancer), this includes financial costs and human costs.

The HSE’s latest statistical update ‘Health and safety at work: Summary statistics for Great Britain 2019’ reveals that:

  • 1.4 million working people suffer from a work-related illness
  • 497,000 workers suffered from a new case of work-related ill health in 2018/19
  • 23.5 million working days were lost due to work-related ill health in 2018/19
  • 13,000 deaths each year are linked to past exposure at work, primarily to chemicals or dust
    • An estimated 12,000 of which are lung disease deaths

The highest risk industries include agriculture, construction, wholesale, retail and manufacturing. These sectors have shown significantly higher work-related ill health and non-fatal injury rates than the rate for all other industries.

The annual report explores work-related ill health, workplace injuries, working days lost, enforcement action taken, and the associated costs to England, Wales and Scotland.

Great Britain continues to be one of the safest places to work, however these figures highlight the importance of managing risk and show that there are still huge improvements to be made to prevent fatalities, injuries and ill-health.

We must all share the responsibility of ensuring everybody is aware of what they need to do to work right by preventing work-related incidents and making our places of work healthier and safer for everyone.” Martin Temple, HSE Chair

Read the full annual injury and ill-health statistics report.

The HSE’s ever-increasing focus on work-related ill health means that, now more than ever, it is imperative to do all that you can to protect you people and your business. Alcumus Sypol provides you with the tools and information you need to comply with legislation, reduce ill health amongst your workforce and protect your organisation’s reputation. The Sypol COSHH management system (CMS) helps you to manage hazardous substances effectively, reducing the risk of harmful exposures in the workplace.