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HSE Statistics cost iconCosts to Great Britain of workplace injuries and new cases of work-related Ill Health – 2018/19

HSE statistics show that each year, over a million workers are injured or made ill by their work in Great Britain. This can have serious effects on these individuals and their families, as well as employers, government and wider society. The impacts can be measured in terms of 'human' costs (the impact on the individual’s quality of life and, for fatal injuries, loss of life), and ‘financial’ costs, such as loss of production and healthcare costs. HSE’s estimate of the total costs of workplace injuries and ill health includes both financial costs and a valuation of human costs.

The latest estimates show that annually between 2017/18 and 2019/20 an average of 610,000 workers were injured in workplace accidents and a further 559,000 workers suffered a new case of ill health which they believe to be caused or made worse by their work. The cost estimates (for 2018/2019) include only new cases of work-related ill health and self-reported injuries, and exclude pre-existing cases, to represent the costs arising from current working conditions.

Injury and ill health Cost
Injury 5600000000
Ill health 10600000000

Chart notes

Source: HSE Costs to Britain model

  • The total costs of workplace self-reported injuries and ill health in 2018/19 was £16.2 billion. Ill health causes the biggest proportion of total costs at around 66% (£10.6 billion), with injury resulting in around 34% of total costs (£5.6 billion).
  • Ill health contributes to a greater proportion of total costs, despite injuries accounting for a greater proportion of cases, as ill health cases result in more time off work on average, which drives higher costs.

Individuals bear the majority of costs

Individual costs make up £9.6bn, employer costs of £3.2bn and government have costs of £3.5bn

Category Individuals Employer Government
Workplace self-reported injuries 9.6 3.2 3.5

Chart notes

Source: HSE Costs to Britain model

  • Individual costs are £9.6 bn.
  • Costs to the employer are £3.2 bn. Costs to the Government are £3.5 bn.
  • The majority of costs fall on individuals, driven by human costs, while employers and government/taxpayers bear a similar proportion of the remaining costs of workplace injury and ill health.

Total costs fell between 2004/05 and 2009/10; broadly level since

Total costs time series falls from about £19bn in 2004/05 to £15.5bn in 2010/11. And stays between £15 bn and £16.2 bn since

Year Annual Total Cost Lower Bound Upper Bound
2004 19310000000 18300000000 20300000000
2005 18900000000 17900000000 19800000000
2006 18500000000 17500000000 19500000000
2007 18100000000 17200000000 19200000000
2008 17200000000 16200000000 18100000000
2009 16100000000 15000000000 17000000000
2010 15800000000 14800000000 16700000000
2011 15700000000 14700000000 16700000000
2012 15700000000 14700000000 16600000000
2013 15700000000 14700000000 16700000000
2014 15700000000 14700000000 16600000000
2015 16100000000 15100000000 17100000000
2016 15900000000 14900000000 16900000000
2017 15500000000 14500000000 16500000000
2018 16200000000 15100000000 17400000000

Chart notes

Sources for above charts: HSE Costs to Britain model

  • The years displayed represent the end of each financial year
  • Shaded area represents 95% confidence interval
  • For the year 2011 - 2012, an estimated figure has been provided where data hasn't been collected.
  • Total costs fell by approximately 17% between 2004/05 and 2009/10, driven by a reduction in the number of workplace injuries. Since then, total annual costs have been broadly level.
  • Ill health costs have been broadly level over the period.
Updated 2020-11-04