Countries and regions
The coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic and the government's response has impacted recent trends in health and safety statistics published by HSE and this should be considered when comparing across time periods. More details can be found in our reports on the impact of the coronavirus pandemic on health and safety statistics.
Information on work-related injuries and ill health for Scotland, Wales and the English regions:
- Fatal injuries – The highest fatal injury rates per 100,000 workers in 2021/22 were in South West (0.63) and Scotland (0.56). The rates for both Scotland and Wales (0.42) were higher than the rate of 0.36 across England (RIDDOR).
- Non-fatal injuries – South West (2,340 cases per 100,000 workers), had a non-fatal injury rate which was statistically significantly higher than the Great Britain rate of 1,790 cases per 100,000 workers over the period 2019/20 to 2021/22. Over the same period, London (1,010 cases per 100,000 workers) was the only region with a rate which was statistically significantly lower than the Great Britain rate (LFS).
- Ill health – South West (6,330 cases per 100,000 workers) had an ill health prevalence rate which was statistically significantly higher than the Great Britain rate of 5,070 cases per 100,000 workers over the period 2019/20 to 2021/22. No country or region had a rate that 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, 2022
- Workplace health and safety statistics for Wales, 2022
The most reliable source for estimates of national and regional workplace injury and work-related ill health data is the annual Labour Force Survey of 36,000 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 (2019/20 to 2021/22). 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.