RR954 - A comparative analysis of self-reported and medically certified incidence data on work-related illness

The impact of work on health is of major importance to Government policy makers, employers and employees alike. Thus, it is important to be able to monitor the incidence and change in incidence of work-related ill-health (WRIH) over time. One (national) source of information relating to WRIH in the UK is the Self-reported Work-related Illness and Injury (SWI) survey which has been included as an annual module in the Labour Force Survey (LFS) since 2003/04. Earlier versions were run in 1990, 1995 and 2001/02. However, the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) acknowledges the limitations of the SWI data and, in particular, the possibility that over or under attribution to work may be a factor in its estimates. Furthermore, an expert workshop convened by the HSE in February 2009 concluded that the HSE should identify preferred data sources for different categories of WRIH, taking into account their respective strengths and weaknesses.

This report and the work it describes were funded by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE). Its contents, including any opinions and/or conclusions expressed, are those of the authors alone and do not necessarily reflect HSE policy.

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Updated 2021-04-26