New figures published for workplace ill health and injury

Figures published today by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) at the end of October show slight falls in a number of key areas of workplace ill-health and injury in Britain between April 2011 and March 2012.

The provisional statistics revealed:

  • 22,433 major injuries such as amputations, fractures and burns, to employees were reported – a rate of 89.90 injuries per 100,000 workers – compared with 24,944 in 2010/11. The average for the past five years is 27,170.
  • 88,731 other injuries serious enough to keep people off work for four or more days were reported – a rate of 355.5 injuries per 100,000 employees – down from 91,742 the previous year. The average for the past five years is 103,627.
  • An estimated 1.1 million people said they were suffering from an illness caused or made worse by their work, down from 1.2 million in 2010/11. Of these, 452,000 were new illnesses occurring in-year. The average for the past five years was 1.25 million with an average 554,000 new cases each year.
  • 173 workers fatally injured – down from 175 the previous year. The average for the past five years was 196 worker deaths per year.

Following the results, Chair of HSE, Judith Hackitt, said:

“Any reduction in the number of people being injured or made unwell by their jobs should be welcomed. Given the challenging economic conditions which many sectors have faced in recent years it is particularly encouraging to see continued reductions in levels of injury and ill health.

“Britain has earned the reputation of being one of the safest places in Europe to work, but there is still plenty of room for improvement. We need to ensure that we all focus on managing the real risks which lead to serious workplace harm.

“HSE remains committed to helping employers understand what they need to do to ensure workers can go home from their jobs safe and well without creating unnecessary paperwork and bureaucracy.”

According to the findings, 27 million working days were lost because of injury and ill-health, at an average of 16.8 days per case. These numbers were broken down to 22.7 million days lost to ill- health and 4.3 million days lost to injuries, while the overall figures are up marginally on 2010/11 when it was reported that 26.4 million days were lost.

In regards to the industries in which workers are most likely to be injured or made unwell by their jobs, there is little change from last previous figures.

The statistics suggest that in waste and recycling there were 397.6 major injuries per 100,000 employees, while in agriculture there were 241 major injuries per 100,000 employees. The construction industry had 171.8 major injuries per 100,000 workers according to the figures.

The full statistics, including comparisons to previous years, are available online at