Trends in work-related injuries and ill health in Great Britain since the introduction of the Health and Safety at Work Act (HSWA) 1974
British industry has changed substantially since the introduction of the Health and Safety at Work Act (HSWA) in 1974 and data shows there have been large reductions in work-related injury and (since 1990) the overall scale of ill health.
Between 1974 and 2015:
- fatal injuries to employees have fallen by 86% (RIDDOR);
- reported non-fatal injuries have fallen by 77% (to 2011/12) (RIDDOR);
- analysis of non-fatal injuries is complicated by changes in the reporting legislation over recent years;
- research commissioned by HSE suggests about half of the reduction in non-fatal injuries up to 2011/12 relates to changing employment patterns and occupations;
- self-reported non-fatal injuries have fallen (since 2000/01) (LFS 2000/01-2014/15);
- deaths from asbestos-related diseases have increased almost constantly year-on-year with about 10 times as many deaths in 2012 than in 1974, mainly due to exposure to asbestos prior to 1980 (Mesothelioma and Asbestosis registers 1974-2013);
- the rate of total cases of self-reported work-related illness, and specifically musculoskeletal disorders, has fallen (since 1990) (LFS 1990-2014/15);
- the rate of total cases of stress and related conditions increased during the 1990s, though likely due to awareness of work-related stress and changing attitudes affecting reporting levels (LFS 1990-2014/15).
Earliest and latest data on injuries and ill health 1974