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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

Chart notes

Source: Estimates from epidemiological information including burden of occupational cancer research

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

Chart notes

Source: Labour Force Survey (LFS) self-reported estimates

 

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 4870 4690 5050
2002 4750 4575 4930
2003 4630 4460 4810
2004 4210 4040 4390
2005 3910 3740 4080
2006 4710 4530 4900
2007 4170 3990 4350
2008 3890 3710 4070
2009 4230 4030 4420
2010 3830 3630 4030
2011 3550 3370 3730
2012 3770 3580 3955
2013 3990 3790 4180
2014 3910 3710 4110
2015 4050 3840 4260
2016 3970 3750 4190
2017 4120 3890 4340
2018 4060 3830 4280
2019 4790 4530 5060

Chart notes

Source: Labour Force Survey (LFS) self-reported estimates

  • The years displayed represent the end of each financial year
  • Shaded area represents 95% confidence interval
  • For the year, 2002/03 and 2012/13, estimated figures have been provided where data hasn't been collected.

 

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 2020-11-17