Work-related ill health and occupational disease
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).
- Around 13,000 deaths each year from work-related lung disease and cancer are estimated to have been caused by past exposure, primarily to chemicals and dusts, at work.
- An estimated 1.2 million people who worked in 2014/15 were suffering from an illness they believed was caused or made worse by work. 516,000 of these were new cases which started in the year (LFS).
- Around 80% of the new work-related conditions in 2014/15 were musculoskeletal disorders or stress, depression or anxiety (LFS).
- New cases of self-reported work-related illness, and specifically musculoskeletal disorders, generally fell between 2001/02 and 2011/12. In 2014/15, the estimated levels were similar to the corresponding figures for 2011/12 and 2013/14 (no ill health data was collected in 2012/13) (LFS).
- An estimated 1980 new cases of work-related ill health seen in general practice clinics were reported by 146 of the 218 GPs who took part in the reporting in 2014. The majority of the cases were work-related musculoskeletal disorders (47%) and mental ill health (34%) (THOR-GP).
New cases of self-reported work-related illness amongst people who worked in the last 12 months
Note: 95% confidence interval on average +/- 7% on the total
Source: Labour Force Survey
- No data on work-related illness from the LFS was collected in 2002/03 and 2012/13.
- 2001/02-2013/14 estimates have been revised (October 2015), as LFS data sets have been reweighted to reflect population estimates based on the 2011 Census
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