Introduction

The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) has published statistics that cover work-related ill health, fatal / non-fatal workplace injuries and enforcement action taken by HSE, in 2020/21.

This year, two new estimates have been developed to measure the impact of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. The pandemic has affected certain data collection and impacted on assessment of trends, therefore there is no new data on working days lost and the associated economic cost for 2021.

Of the 1.7 million workers who suffered from a work-related illness (new or long standing) in 2020/21, 800,000 were stress, depression or anxiety, and 28% were musculoskeletal disorders (500,000 workers). The headlines have been set out below.

Work-related ill health

1.7 million
Workers suffering from work-related ill health (new or long-standing) in 2020/21.
850,000
Workers suffering from a new case of work-related ill health in 2020/21.
13,000
Deaths each year estimated to be linked to past exposure at work, primarily to chemicals or dust.

Work-related stress, depression, or anxiety

822,000
Workers suffering from work- related stress, depression or anxiety (new or long-standing) in 2020/21.
451,000
Workers suffering from a new case of work-related stress, depression or anxiety in 2020/21.

Work-related musculoskeletal disorders

470,000
Workers suffering from work- related musculoskeletal disorders (new or long- standing) in 2020/21.
162,000
Workers suffering from a new case of work-related musculoskeletal disorder in 2020/21.

 

Occupational lung disease

12,000
Lung disease deaths each year estimated to be linked to past exposures at work.
2,369
Mesothelioma deaths in 2019, with a similar number of lung cancer deaths linked to past exposures to asbestos.
17,000
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.

Coronavirus pandemic

93,000
Workers suffering with COVID-19 in 2020/21 which they believe may have been from exposure to coronavirus at work (new or long-standing). Around half of those suffering were in human health and social work activities.
645,000*
Workers suffering from a work-related illness caused or made worse by the effects of the coronavirus pandemic (new or long-standing) in 2020/21. Around 20% of those suffering were in human health and social work activities.
*Excludes the 93,000 workers in the first statistic

Workplace injury

142
Workers killed at work in 2020/21.
441,000
Workers sustaining a non-fatal injury according to self-reports from the labour force survey in 2020/21.
51,211
Employee non-fatal injuries reported by employers under RIDDOR in 2020/21.

European comparisons

This data relates to when the UK was a member of the EU.

The UK consistently has one of the lowest rates of fatal injury across the EU. Compared to other large European economies, the 2018 UK fatal injury rate was a similar order as Germany, and lower than France, Spain, Italy, Poland, and the EU average.

Enforcement

185
Cases prosecuted, or referred to COPFS for prosecution in Scotland, by HSE where a conviction was achieved in 2020/21.
2,929
Notices issued by HSE in 2020/21.
£26.9 million
In fines resulting from prosecutions taken, or referred to COPFS for prosecution in Scotland, by HSE where a conviction was achieved in 2020/21.

These annual statistics are important to give us a clear picture of the health and safety risks faced by workers in Great Britain and help to inform us of the continued need to focus on maintaining pragmatic workplace control measures to ensure everyone can go home from work safe and well.

At William Martin Compliance we have a nationwide team of experts who offer a comprehensive range of health and safety compliance services. As part of the wider Marlowe Group, William Martin Compliance also has access to a wider range of complementary compliance services.

For all enquiries please contact us: helpinghand@wmcompliance.co.uk or call our team on 0203 819 8829

Click this link to download the HSE Statistics 2020_21 – Briefing Note Jan 22