28th November 2022
HSE Publish Health and Safety Statistics for 2021/22
Rise in self-reported, work related ill health.
On Wednesday November 23, the HSE published Health and Safety at Work Summary Statistics for Great Britain 2022. The report reveals that there were an estimated 1.8 million Workers suffering from work-related ill health (new or long-standing) in 2021/22. The current rate is higher than the 2018/19 pre-coronavirus levels. 722,000 workers suffering from a new case of work-related ill health in 2021/22 meaning that 30.8 million Working days were lost. 13,000 Deaths each year are estimated to be linked to past exposure at work, primarily to chemicals or dust over this period.
Education has the third highest rate of work related ill-health of any UK industry. Human health/social work has the highest figures, with public administration/defence second in the list.
Stress is the most significant cause of workplace illness, with 914,000 Workers suffering from work-related stress, depression or anxiety (new or long-standing) in 2021/22. 372,000 Workers suffered from a new case of work-related stress, depression or anxiety in this period and 17.0 million working days were lost due to work-related stress, depression or anxiety in 2021/22.
The effects of the coronavirus pandemic were found to be a major contributory factor to work-related stress, depression or anxiety
Prior to the coronavirus pandemic, the rate of self reported work-related musculoskeletal disorders showed a generally downward trend. The current rate is similar to the 2018/19 pre-coronavirus levels, with 477,000 workers suffering from a work-related musculoskeletal disorder (new or longstanding) and 139,000 workers suffering from a new case of work-related musculoskeletal disorder in 2021/22.
Prior to the pandemic, the rate of annual new cases of occupational asthma seen by chest physicians had been increasing, but annual mesothelioma deaths are expected to reduce over the period 2020 to 2030. There were 2,544 Mesothelioma deaths in 2020, with a similar number of lung cancer deaths linked to past exposures to asbestos. There were 19,000 estimated new cases of breathing or lung problems caused or made worse by work each year on average over the last three years according to self-reports from the Labour Force Survey.
123 workers were killed in work-related accidents in 2021/22. Over the long-term, the rate of fatal injury to workers showed a downward trend though in the recent years prior to the coronavirus pandemic, the rate had been broadly flat. The current rate is broadly in line with pre-coronavirus levels. 565,000 Workers sustained a nonfatal injury and 61,713 employee suffered non-fatal injuries in 2021/22 6.0 million working days were lost due to non-fatal workplace injuries in the same period.
The agriculture, forestry and fishing industries have the highest rate of injury in the UK.
HSE’s Chief Executive, Sarah Albon, said: “Stress and poor mental health is the number one cause of work-related ill health. The effects of stress, depression, and anxiety can have a significant impact on an employee’s life and on their ability to perform their best at work.Britain is one of the safest places in the world to work but we need all employers to do more and take seriously their responsibilities to support good mental health at work. That’s why improving mental health in the workplace is a key priority in our 10-year strategy ‘Protecting People and Places’, and why we’re developing new partnerships across industry to help employers support their employees.”