12,000 workers still dying from respiratory conditions every year


The number of workplace injuries, incidents and deaths in Great Britain is still too high, new statistics show.

The annual report by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) released last month includes statistics for work-related ill health, workplace injuries, working days lost, enforcement action taken, and the associated costs to Great Britain.

Figures show that some 1.4 million workers are currently suffering from work-related ill-health, resulting in 28.2 million working days lost in the last year alone. Worse still, 147 workers were killed whilst at work and a further 12,000 died due to prolonged conditions, such as lung-cancer, caused by previous workplace exposure.

In fact, occupational lung diseases account for around 12,000 of the 13,000 total deaths estimated to be linked to past exposures at work.

The statistics, compiled from the Labour Force Survey (LFS) and other sources, illustrate that in Great Britain in the 2018/2019 period there were;

• 581,000 non-fatal workplace injuries
• 1.4 million working people suffering from a work-related illness
• 364 prosecutions resulting in a conviction – totalling £54.5 million in fines
• 28.2 million working days lost due to work-related illness and workplace injury
• 12,000 work-related lung cancer deaths, of which 2,526 linked to asbestos exposure

Despite Great Britain continuing to be one of the safest places to work, the reported figures highlight that there are still areas to be improved upon to prevent fatalities, injuries and ill-health.
The estimated economic cost to Great Britain caused by work related sickness and injury comes to a staggering £15 billion in 2017/2018 alone.

In response to the report, Martin Temple, Chair of the HSE, said:
“Great Britain’s position as one of the safest places to work should be a point of pride for us all, but these figures show there is still much to be done to ensure workers go home both healthy and safe.
“These figures should highlight to us all the vital importance of managing risk and promoting behaviours to improve the standard of good health and safety practice in the workplace.
“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.”

The full annual injury and ill-health statistics report can be found on the HSE’s website.