HSE statistics reveal 2 million cases of work-related ill-health

Annual work-related ill-health and workplace injury statistics published by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) this week show that almost 2 million British workers are suffering from work-related illnesses.

HSE statistics for 2022-23 reveal 2 million workers affected by work-related ill-healthThe HSE’s annual statistics for 2022-23 also reveal that around half of reported cases of work-related ill-health are still due to mental health problems.

The latest statistics show that 1.8 million workers reported that they were suffering from work-related ill-health during 2022-23, with 875,000 of these being down to work-related stress, depression or anxiety.

Statistics released for 2021-22 also showed that around half the reported cases of work-related ill-health (914,000) were due to these mental health concerns.

Stress is top cause of work-related ill-health

Stress, depression and anxiety are the top causes of work-related ill-health in BritainBritain’s health and safety watchdog have pointed out that, before the Covid-19 pandemic struck in 2020, the rate of self-reported work-related ill-health among Great Britain’s workers had remained broadly flat, but it is now higher than pre-pandemic levels.

Focusing on the nearly 0.9 million workers suffering from work-related stress, depression or anxiety last year, the statistics show that:

  • 338,000 workers were suffering from a new case of work-related stress, depression or anxiety
  • 17.1 million working days were lost due to work-related stress, depression or anxiety
  • Industries with higher-than-average rates of work-related stress, depression or anxiety were human health and social work, public administration and defence and education.

The HSE’s Working Minds campaign was launched earlier this year to help employers and workers prevent work-related stress and other mental health concerns.

The statistics show that another major cause of work-related ill-health in 2022-23 was Musculoskeletal Disorders (MSDs), which affected 473,000 workers.

Work-related ill-health and workplace injuries costs UK billions

In total, a staggering 31.5 million working days were lost to work-related ill-health in 2022-23 and new cases of work-related ill-health cost the UK economy an estimated £13.1 billion.

The HSE’s annual statistics also reveal:

  • There were 2,268 deaths from mesothelioma, caused by past exposures to deadly asbestos fibres while at work (2021 figures)
  • 135 workers were killed in work-related accidents
  • 561,000 people sustained a non-fatal injury at work (Labour Force Survey)
  • 60,645 workers sustained major injuries reported under RIDDOR

Workplace fatality figures broadly in line with previous yearsAlthough the total of 135 worker deaths for 2022-23 was higher than the previous year (123), it is broadly in line with workplace fatality figures recorded before the Covid-19 pandemic. Overall, there has thankfully been a long-term downward trend in workplace fatalities, though in the years before the pandemic the rate had remained broadly flat.

Overall, 35.2 million working days were lost last year due to work-related illness and workplace injuries combined.

In 2021-22 the estimated annual costs of workplace injury and new cases of work-related ill-health from current working conditions hit £20.7 million. This represents an increase of £1.9 billion from 2019-20.

The watchdog’s Chief Executive, Sarah Albon, commented:

“Preventing or tackling work-related stress can provide significant benefits to employees, improving their experience of work and their overall health; and also to employers including increased productivity, decreased absenteeism and reduced staff turnover.”

Download the summary statistics for Great Britain 2023 at the HSE’s website.

Training to prevent work-related ill-health and workplace injuries

First Response Training (FRT) is one of the UK’s largest and leading national training providers.

FRT can provide health, safety and wellbeing training to help prevent work-related ill-health and workplace injuriesThey deliver a wide and diverse range of training for businesses and organisations across all industry sectors and throughout the UK. Their course range includes training in the fields of health and safetyfirst aidfire safetymanual handlingmental healthfood safetyhealth and social care and more.

Their health and safety training is mapped to UK standards and legislation and follows HSE guidelines. The portfolio includes courses such as Health and Safety, Managing Health and Safety, Risk Assessment, Accident and Incident Investigation, Working at Height, Asbestos Awareness and many more.

An accredited Mindful Employer themselves, FRT’s specialist mental health training courses include Understanding Mental HealthMental Health Awareness in the WorkplaceManaging StressAnxiety and Phobias AwarenessSelf-Harm Awareness and Suicide Awareness.

They can also provide qualified, approved trainers to deliver accredited Mental Health First Aid (MHFA) training courses, including the Adult, Youth and Lite versions.

A trainer from FRT says:

“We believe in creating safer working environments with people who care. This is our vision and central to our services. It means providing training that helps to protect people’s physical and mental health, safety and welfare.

“Any life lost at work is obviously one too many, and non-fatal injuries can also have significant, life-altering impacts on workers. Additionally, while stress is not recognised as a diagnosable mental health condition, it can lead to more serious mental health problems such as depression and anxiety, and can also have physiological effects.

“It’s important to recognise the severity of stress and to learn proactive and positive ways for managing, minimising and preventing stress, both in the workplace and in our personal lives and to ensure that we regularly undergo essential training in health, safety and welfare across all organisations and industries.”

Helpful resources

brief summary of our mental health training can now be downloaded as an infographic.

We also have a number of other free infographics available to download which provide simple tips for helping to manage your mental and emotional wellbeing and proactively manage your stress levels. These include:

You can also download our free Guide to Mental Health Training from our website.

For more information on the training that FRT can provide, please call them today on freephone 0800 310 2300 or send an e-mail to info@firstresponsetraining.com.