Costs to Great Britain of workplace injuries and new cases of work-related Ill Health – 2021/22

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, based on data from 2019/20 to 2022/23, an average of 606,000 workers were injured in workplace accidents each year and a further 677,000 workers each year suffered a new case of ill health which they believe to be caused or made worse by their work1.  The cost estimates (for 2021/22) 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.

Total Costs to Britain were around £20.7bn in 2021/22 2

Injury and ill health Cost
Injury (equivalent to unit cost of £1.9 m per fatal injury, £12,200 per non-fatal injury 7700000000
Ill health (equivalent to unit cost of £19,300 per case) 13100000000

The total costs of workplace self-reported injuries and ill health in 2021/22 was £20.7 billion. Ill health causes the biggest proportion of total costs at around 63% (£13.1 billion), with injury resulting in around 37% of total costs (£7.7 billion). Ill health cases typically result in more time off work on average, which drives higher costs.

Individuals bear the majority of costs

Individual costs are £12.2 bn. Costs to the employer are £3.9 bn. Costs to the Government are £4.6 bn.

Category Individuals Employer Government
Workplace self-reported injuries 12200000000 3900000000 4600000000

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.

Change over time


  1. Source: Labour Force Survey (non-fatal injuries) and RIDDOR (fatal injuries); annual average estimate 2019/20-2022/23 Back to reference of footnote 1
  2. Estimated annual average costs 2019/20, 2021/22, 2022/23 (in 2022 prices) Back to reference of footnote 2

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Updated 2023-11-15