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HSE Statistics ill
              health iconWork-related ill health and occupational disease in Great Britain

12,000

Lung disease deaths each year estimated to be linked to past exposures at work

1.6 million

Workers suffering from work-related ill health (new or long-standing) in 2019/20 (LFS)

Occupational lung diseases contributing to estimated annual current deaths

12,000 lung disease deaths each year estimated to be linked to past exposure at work. 33% suffered Chronic Obstructive pulmonary Disease (COPD), 23% Non-asbestos related lung cancer, 20% Asbestos related lung cancer, 20% Mesothelioma and 5% Other disease.

Diseases Number of diseases
Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) 33
Non-asbestos related lung cancer 24
Asbestos related lung cancer 20
Mesothelioma 20
Other disease 3

New and long-standing cases of work-related ill health by type, 2019/20

New and long-standing cases of work-related ill health by type, 2019/20

1.6 million workers suffering from work-related ill healh (new or long standing) in 2019/20. 51% suffered stress, depression or anxiety, 30% musculoskeletal disorders and 19% other type of illness.

Type of illness Number of illness
Stress depression or anxiety 51
Musculoskeletal disorders 30
Other type of illness 19

Rate of work-related ill health per 100,000 workers - new and long-standing

Workers suffering from work-related ill-health (new and long-standing) has been broadly flat in recent rates, although 2019/20 is above recent years.

Year Work-related ill health Lower Bound Upper Bound
2001/02 4870 4690 5050
2002/03 0 4575 4930
2003/04 4630 4460 4810
2004/05 4210 4040 4390
2005/06 3910 3740 4080
2006/07 4710 4530 4900
2007/08 4170 3990 4350
2008/09 3890 3710 4070
2009/10 4230 4030 4420
2010/11 3830 3630 4030
2011/12 3550 3370 3730
2012/13 0 3580 3955
2013/14 3990 3790 4180
2014/15 3910 3710 4110
2015/16 4050 3840 4260
2016/17 3970 3750 4190
2017/18 4120 3890 4340
2018/19 4060 3830 4280
2019/20 4790 4530 5060

Trend statement

The rate of self-reported work-related ill health has been broadly flat in recent years, although 2019/20 is above recent rates

Notes

  • Occupational lung diseases typically have a long latency (they take a long time to develop following exposure to the agent that caused them). Therefore, current deaths reflect the effect of past working conditions.
  • Estimates of work-related ill health are based on self-reports from the Labour Force Survey (LFS)
  • Disruption to the economy towards the end of 2019/20 due to the emergence of COVID-19 as a national health issue had the potential to have impacted on workplace injury and work-related ill health data for 2019/20. A paper setting out the issues in more detail along with results of analysis of the headline data from the Labour Force Survey and RIDDOR found that COVID-19 does not appear to be the main driver of changes seen in the latest year's data.

More information on Ill health

Occupational lung disease

Asbestos-related disease

Musculoskeletal disorders

Stress, depression or anxiety

Other ill health conditions

Information on HSE Statistics

Updated 2021-05-10