Work-related ill health and occupational disease
Note on Data Sources
The Labour Force Survey (LFS) is HSE’s most comprehensive data source; it is complemented by other sources such as death certificates and reports from doctors (THOR). For more details on ill health and occupational disease data sources.
The top level picture of work-related ill health and occupational disease is presented below. For more information about particular conditions and outcomes see:
More detailed data tables are also available.
The latest results show that:
- Around 13,000 deaths each year from occupational lung disease and cancer are estimated to have been caused by past exposures at work, primarily to chemicals and dusts.
- An estimated 1.3 million people who worked in 2015/16 were suffering from an illness they believed was caused or made worse by work. Of these, 0.5 million were new cases which started in the year (LFS).
- Around 80% of self-reported work-related conditions were musculoskeletal disorders or stress, depression or anxiety (LFS).
- The estimated rate of self-reported work-related ill health, and specifically musculoskeletal disorders, showed a generally downward trend to around 2011/12; more recently the rate has been broadly flat. The rate for stress, depression or anxiety has been broadly flat for more than a decade (LFS).
- The majority (85%) of new cases of work-related ill health reported by participating GPs in the THOR-GP surveillance scheme, during 2013-2015, were musculoskeletal disorders or mental ill health (THOR-GP).
- In 2015/16, an estimated 25.9 million working days were lost due to self-reported work-related illness (LFS).
- Estimated working days lost per worker due to self-reported work-related illness showed a generally downward trend up to around 2009/10; since then the rate has remained broadly flat (LFS).
Estimated rate of self-reported work-related ill health per 100,000 employed in last 12 months
Source: Labour Force Survey