12,000 died from work-related lung disease last year


The Health and Safety Executive’s latest report on workplace ill-health shows that Britain continues to be one of the safest places to work in the world but 12,000 people died work-related lung disease last year.

Compiled from multiple sources, including the Labour Force Survey, the statistics show that in Great Britain during 2019/2020 there were:

  • 111 fatal injuries at work
  • 1.6 million people suffering from work related illness
  • 38.8 million working days were lost to due to work related illness and injury – costing the economy £16.2 billion
  • 325 cases were prosecuted and resulted in conviction with fines totalling over £35 million

Whilst these statistics are low compared with the rest of the world, it still demonstrates the huge amount of work still needed to be done to prevent workplace ill-health and fatalities.

On top of the 111 fatalities at work last year, an additional 12,000 people died from lung disease due to past exposures at work.

Occupational lung diseases such as those listed above, typically have a long latency period so it takes a long time for the person to develop symptoms, but this can be easily prevented provided you have the right protection.

When working in areas where you’ll be exposed to harmful fumes and dust particles, it’s vital you’re wearing RPE with particulate filters attached to prevent developing issues such as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.

Other lung diseases such as certain types of lung cancer can be caused by extended exposure to harmful chemicals which may require specific chemical filters.

At times where you’ll be exposed to both chemical and particulate hazards, combination filters are needed.

If you’re unsure on which filters to use please refer to your Material Safety Data Sheets, your Health and Safety Manager or get in touch with one of our RPE experts for more information.

When it comes to respiratory health, the saying knowledge is power rings true. The coronavirus pandemic has heightened everyone’s awareness of the dangers of hazards you can’t see and the importance of respiratory health.

Literally thousands of people are unnecessarily putting their lives at risk due to lack of training, so make sure your team are clued up on the importance of RPE with our CPD accredited RPE training: www.fullsupporthealthcare.com/rpe-training

Here at Full Support, we have a range of reusable and disposable RPE solutions available on our website, to make sure you get home safe and healthy at the end of each working day.