January 18, 2022
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The HSE has issued their latest annual statistics for levels of work related injury and ill health in the UK covering the period April 2020 to March 2021. Not surprisingly it is understood that these statistics have been significantly affected by the Coronavirus pandemic making comparisons with previous years difficult.

The figures show that 1.7 million workers were suffering from work related ill health (new or long term) in the period including 822,000 (48%) suffering work-related stress, depression or anxiety and 470,000 (28%) suffering from a work-related musculoskeletal disorder. Of these 645,000 workers reported that their work-related illness was caused or made worse by the Coronavirus pandemic (70% of these were cases of stress, depression or anxiety).

The statistics identify the main causes of stress as workload, lack of support, violence, threats / bullying and changes at work, with the Coronavirus pandemic a major contributory factor.

Musculoskeletal disorders include injuries and conditions that can affect the back, joints and limbs. They can have many causes including bending, crouching or stooping, lifting heavy or bulky loads, pushing, pulling or dragging heavy loads, stretching, twisting and reaching, repetitive work, particularly using the same hand or arm action, sustained or excessive force, carrying out a task for a long time, work with display screen equipment, working with hand-held power tools for a long time, driving heavy vehicles, long-distance driving or driving over rough ground, poor working environment or organisation or factors to do with the workers themselves.

Figures from the Labour Force Survey show 441,000 workers reported suffering a non-fatal injury, this compares to 51,211 non-fatal injuries reported under RIDDOR. The most common types of accident were:

  • Slips, trips or falls on the same level (33%)
  • Handling, lifting or carrying (18%)
  • Struck by moving object (10%)
  • Violence (8%)
  • Falls from height (8%)

The industry sectors with the highest rates of workplace injury (per 100,000 workers) were Agriculture, Forestry and Fishing, Construction, Accommodation / Food Service activities and Wholesale / Retail Trade; repair of motor vehicles.

Full details of the latest statistics can be found on the HSE’s website at:

Whatever your sector it is important that risks are assessed and suitable controls put in place to manage them. Please speak to your normal PIB Risk Management contact or get in touch using [email protected] if you have any questions regarding risk assessment or management for your operations.