1st November 2017

Work-related illness affects 1.3m people

About 1.3million people suffered from work-related illness and there were 609,000 workplace injuries in 2016/17, latest statistics from the Health and Safety Executive reveal.

The body said the figures showed that while Britain remained one of the safest places to work, there was still work to do to drive down the toll on the workforce.

Workplace injuries and new cases of ill health cost Britain an estimated £14.9bn a year, with 31.2 million working days lost.

The annual statistics, compiled by HSE from the Labour Force Survey (LFS) and other sources, cover work-related ill health, workplace injuries, working days lost, costs to Britain and enforcement action taken.

Top line statistics show that in 2016/17 there were:

  • 137 fatal injuries in Britain’s workplaces
  • 70,116 other injuries reported by employers
  • 12,000 lung disease deaths estimated to be linked to past work exposures
  • 554 prosecutions, with fines totalling £69.9 million

Martin Temple, chairman of the HSE, said: “These latest figures should act as a spur to reduce the impact of ill-health and injury on Britain’s workforce and businesses and we cannot rest on our reputation.

“We will only achieve long-term improvement by a collective approach to improve workplace standards. Poor standards lead to poor health and increased injuries which is bad for the workforce and business.”

Though there were fewer prosecutions in 2016/17 compared with the previous year, there was an increase in fines to £69.9 million from the 2015/16 total of £38.8 million. New sentencing guidelines in England and Wales were introduced in 2016. Twenty large fines accounted for £30.7 million of the new figure.

The full annual injury and ill-health statistics report can be found at: http://www.hse.gov.uk/statistics/