Health and safety at work: Summary statistics for Great Britain 2022

Health and safety at work: Summary statistics for Great Britain 2022

From our colleagues at Barbour EHS.

The estimated number of workers in Great Britain suffering a work-related illness is 1.8 million – with stress, depression, and anxiety making up around half of cases, according to recent figures.

The HSE has published its annual statistics on work-related ill health and workplace injuries. The figures show there were an estimated 914,000 cases of work-related stress, depression, or anxiety in 2021/22.

An estimated 17 million working days were lost due to work-related stress, depression, or anxiety in 2021/22. This is over half of all working days lost due to work-related ill health.

The HSE’s annual statistics release shows the impact work-related ill health is having on Great Britain’s economic performance:

  • 8 million working days were lost due to work-related ill health and non-fatal workplace injuries in 2021/22.
  • The annual economic cost of work-related injury and new cases of ill health (excluding long latency illnesses such as cancer) was £18.8 billion in 2019/20.

The figures also show that 123 workers were killed in work-related accidents in 2021/22 and a further 565,000 workers sustained a non-fatal injury.

The COVID-19 pandemic continues to impact on the workplace. Of the 1.8 million suffering a work-related illness, an estimated 585,000 reported it was caused or made worse by the effects of the coronavirus pandemic. Around a quarter of these workers were in human health and social work. In addition, 123,000 workers suffering with COVID-19 believed they were exposed to the virus at work.

In 2021/22, the effects of the coronavirus pandemic were found to be a major contributory factor to work-related stress, depression or anxiety.

Other key figures reveal:

  • 8 million working people suffering from a work-related illness, of which:
    • 914,000 workers suffering work-related stress, depression or anxiety.
    • 372,000 workers suffering from a new case of work-related stress, depression or anxiety in 2021/22.
    • 477,000 workers suffering from a work-related musculoskeletal disorder.
    • 123,000 workers suffering from COVID-19 which they believe may have been from exposure to coronavirus at work. 2022 8 Health and Safety.
    • 2,544 mesothelioma deaths due to past asbestos exposures (2020).
    • 61,713 injuries to employees were reported under RIDDOR.
    • 12,000 lung disease deaths each year estimated to be linked to past exposures at work.

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.”


Our Comments

“ These HSE statistics again prove that we still need to maintain and improve where we can health and safety controls and continue to expand ways employers can improve their health and safety cultures. “



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

This content has been produced in association with our sister company, Barbour.

For all enquiries, please contact us or call our team on 0203 819 8829.