1.3 million workers suffer from work-related illness, HSE statistics show
The annual statistics on illness and injury have been released by the Health and Safety Executive for 2015/16.
Using information from the Labour Force Survey, RIDDOR reporting, HSE cost model, death certificates and HSE enforcement data, the report pulls together key facts about illness and injuries.
Occupational health in numbers
- 1.3 milion workers suffer from work-related illness
- 0.5 million suffer from work-related musculoskeletal disorders
- 0.5 million suffer from work-related stress, depression or anxiety
- There have been 2,515 deaths from mesothelioma
The costs of occupational ill health on business is clear. In 2015/16 there were 30.4 million working days lost due to work-related illness and non-fatal workplace injuries.
In monetary terms this cost business £14.1 billion in 2014/15 – excluding the costs of long latency illnesses, like cancer, and new cases of work-related illness cost £9.3 billion in the same year.
Fatal and non-fatal injuries in numbers
- 0.6 million non-fatal injuries to workers
- 72,202 non-fatal injuries to employees reported by employers
- 144 fatal injuries to workers
The annual costs of workplace injury in 2014/15 was £4.8 billion.
The trends behind the figures
Figures alone mean virtually nothing unless you look at them in the context of wider data and comparisons.
With regard to occupational health, the HSE statistics report shows that there has been a general downward trend in the number of self-reported, work-related ill health disorders – at least until 2011/12 and more recently this rate has been broadly flat.
Similarly, the rate of self-reported stress, depression and anxiety has remained broadly flat for more than a decade.
These statistics indicate that we have reached a plateau, and that new and different approaches need to be adopted when tackling occupational health.
There are projected to be around 2,500 deaths per year from mesothelioma for the rest of this decade before numbers start to decline.
There has been a downward trend in the rate of fatal injury in the long-term, although this seems to have also hit a plateau in recent years.
The majority of fatal injuries come from falls from height, with being struck by moving vehicles coming in a close second.
The UK has the least fatal injuries when compared to other large EU economies, including Germany, Poland, Italy, Spain and France.
However, the UK comes in second place when looking at the percentage of self-reported, work-related injuries and health problems resulting in sick leave.
The McOnie Agency has produced an infographic to illustrate the trends and statistics released by the HSE.
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