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HSE Statistics source icon

Historical picture statistics in Great Britain, 2019 – trends in work-related ill health and workplace injury

In recent decades there have been large reductions in both fatal and non-fatal workplace injuries (See Charts 5-7 below). However, the picture for ill health is mixed. There have been reductions in the rate of total self-reported work-related illness (total includes both new and long-standing cases), particularly musculoskeletal disorders (Chart 1 and 2).  The rate of total self-reported work-related stress, depression or anxiety shows signs of increasing in recent years having previously remained broadly flat (Chart 3). Annual mesothelioma deaths increased substantially over the last few decades due to past asbestos exposures, but have remained broadly level over the last five years (Chart 4).

Chart 1: Rate of self-reported work-related ill health

(LFS, Great Britain; estimated rate per 100,000 workers)

Graph showing a downward trend ion prosecution cases brought by HSE and in Scotland COPFS

Chart 2: Rate of self-reported musculoskeletal disorders

(LFS, Great Britain; estimated rate per 100,000 workers)

Graph showing a downward trend in the rate of self-reported musculoskeletal disorders

Chart 3: Rate of self-reported stress, depression or anxiety

(LFS, Great Britain; estimated rate per 100,000 workers)

Graph showing the rate of self-reported stress and related conditions is broadly flat with some fluctuation

Chart 4: Number of deaths from mesothelioma

(HSE Mesothelioma Register, Great Britain)

Graph showing a levelling off in the number of deaths from mesothelioma in recent years

Chart 5: Number of fatal injuries to employees

(RIDDOR and earlier reporting legislation, Great Britain)

Graph showing a redu ction in the estimated number of fatal injuries to employees since 1974

Chart 6: Rate of self-reported workplace non-fatal injury

(LFS, Great Britain; estimated rate per 100,000 workers)

Graph showing the rate of self-reported workplace non-fatal injury has been broadly flat in recent years

Chart 7: Rate of employer-reported non-fatal injury

(RIDDOR, Great Britain; rate per 100,000 employees)

Graph showing an estimated reduction of  58% in the rate of employer-reported non-fatal injury

Chart 8: Days lost per worker due to work-related incidents

(LFS, Great Britain; self-reported ill health and injury days lost)

Graph showing days lost per worker due to work-related incidents are down by about one-third since 2000
Key for graphs

More information

The detailed data included in these charts can be found in the following tables:

Work-related illness

  • for self-reported work-related illness in England and Wales, covering Labour Force Surveys for the years 1990, 1995 and 1998/99, see LFSILLHIST;
  • for self-reported work-related illness in Great Britain, see LFSILLTYP;
  • for death certificates mentioning mesothelioma in Great Britain, see MESO01;

Workplace injuries

  • for self-reported non-fatal workplace injuries in Great Britain, see LFSINJSUM;
  • for employer-reported injuries in Great Britain, see RIDHIST;

Working days lost

  • for working days lost due to work-related illness and non-fatal workplace injury in Great Britain, see LFSWDL.
Updated 2019-11-05