Countries and regions
Information on work-related injuries and ill health for Scotland, Wales and the English regions.
- Fatal injuries - The highest rates in 2019/20 were in Wales (1.10 cases per 100,000 workers), East Midlands (0.47 cases per 100,000 workers) and South West (0.44 cases per 100,000 workers). The 16 fatal injuries in Wales in 2019/20 was the highest recorded since 2011/12, four higher than the average from the last five years (RIDDOR).
- Non-fatal injuries – Yorkshire and the Humber (2,600 cases per 100,000 workers), South West (2,460 cases per 100,000 workers) and East Midlands (2,380 cases per 100,000 workers) had non-fatal injury rates which were statistically significantly higher than the Great Britain rate of 1,920 cases per 100,000 workers over the period 2017/18 to 2019/20. Over the same period, London (1,240 cases per 100,000 workers) and West Midlands (1,570 cases per 100,000 workers) had rates which were statistically significantly lower than the Great Britain rate (LFS).
- Ill health – South West (5,290 cases per 100,000 workers) had the highest ill health prevalence rate, which was statistically significantly higher than the Great Britain rate of 4,330 cases per 100,000 workers over the period 2017/18 to 2019/20. Over the same period, Scotland (3,560 cases per 100,000 workers) had the lowest rate, which was statistically significantly lower than the Great Britain rate (LFS).
A selection of data tables providing further information are available.
Scotland and Wales
Summaries of the available data relating specifically to Scotland and Wales can be found in the reports here:
- Workplace health and safety statistics for Scotland, 2020
- Workplace health and safety statistics for Wales, 2020
The most reliable source for estimates of national and regional workplace injury and work-related ill health data is the annual Labour Force Survey 33,000 households per quarter across Great Britain which provides information about the labour market. HSE commissions a module of questions in the LFS to gain a view of workplace injury and work-related illness based on individuals’ perceptions.
Both the non-fatal injury and ill health estimates from the LFS are based on averages over a three year period (2017/18 to 2019/20). The ill health figures are prevalence rates meaning that they include long-standing as well as new cases.
For fatal injuries, data are collected from reports made by employers under RIDDOR (the Reporting of Injuries, Diseases and Dangerous Occurrences Regulations).
Interpretation of regional differences
The underlying risk of an adverse health and safety outcome such as ill health or injury will differ from one worker to the next, but it is unlikely that differences are affected directly by the region in which they work. Instead, research indicates that an individual’s risk is driven by a complex combination of factors including their occupation, the length of time they have been doing their job and the industry in which they work. As a result, regional differences in injury and ill health rates are strongly affected by differences in employment profiles.
In particular, when comparing countries, it should be noted that both Scotland and Wales have proportionally fewer workers in low-risk occupations than England. The difference is largely driven by the occupational mix in London and South East where there is a much higher proportion of workers in low-risk occupations than across the rest of England and Great Britain as a whole.
Research exploring the effect of standardising regional injury rates for differences in occupation and industry can be found at:
- Exploration of the relationship between regional fatal injury rates and differences in industry composition
- Standardisation by occupation of self-reported workplace injury rates by country and region of residence 2015/16 to 2019/20
The research demonstrates a downward shift in injury rates for those regions and countries with more workers in higher risk industries or occupations after standardising for occupation or industry.
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 years data.