HSE 2022 annual statistics show more than half of all working days were lost due to work-related health issues in the last year
The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) has released the 2021/2022 annual statistics on work-related illnesses and injuries.
New figures show that around half of Britain’s 1.8 million cases of work-related illness are identified as stress, depression and anxiety (around 914,000 cases in 2021/22).
An estimated 17 million working days were lost due to work-related stress, depression or anxiety in 2021/22. This represents more than half of all working days lost due to work-related health problems.
HSE warns of growing crisis of work-related stress and poor mental health
The labor regulator launched a major campaign last year to remind employers of their responsibilities to the mental health of their employees.
HSE Chief Executive Sarah Albon said: “Stress and poor mental health are the number one cause of poor work-related health. The effects of stress, depression and anxiety can have a significant impact on an employee’s life and their ability to perform at their best at work.
“Britain is one of the safest places in the world to work, but we need all employers to do more and take their responsibilities seriously to support good mental health at work. That’s why the Improving mental health in the workplace is a key priority of our 10-year “Protecting People and Places” strategy, and why we are developing new industry partnerships to help employers support their employees.”
Statistics show the impact of work-related health problems on economic performance:
- 36.8 million working days were lost due to work-related health problems and non-fatal work injuries in 2021/22
- The annual economic cost of accidents at work and new cases of ill health (excluding long latency diseases such as cancer) was £18.8bn in 2019/20
- The figures also show that 123 workers were killed in work-related accidents in 2021/22, and another 565,000 workers suffered a non-fatal injury.
COVID-19 continues to impact the workplace
Of the 1.8 million people with a work-related illness, around 585,000 said it was caused or made worse by the effects of the coronavirus pandemic. In addition, 123,000 workers with Covid-19 thought they had been exposed to the virus at work.
HSE 2022 annual statistics show 59,000 cases of non-fatal work injuries in the construction industry
Alongside the full report, a separate breakdown for the construction industry published by the HSE shows that accidents at work in the construction industry are significantly higher than in other sectors.
Ben Henderson, Head of Product Solutions Consulting at Intelex EMEA, commented:
“Today’s results show there is still a long way to go to improve workplace safety in the UK. At Intelex, we know that one of the easiest ways for employers to improve workplace safety is to remove barriers and empower employees to do the right thing.
“Technology can play a pivotal role in helping to foster a work culture that puts safety at the heart. Giving health and safety professionals quick and efficient access to the information they need, enabling them to produce accurate and timely reports, makes it easier to communicate the actions that need to be taken across the enterprise. »
Musculoskeletal disorders continue to weigh on the health of workers
The latest statistics show that 7.3 million working days were lost last year due to musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs) with 477,000 cases reported in 2022, including 139,000 new cases. MSDs are common in most industries, but agriculture, forestry and fishing, construction, and human health/social work have significantly higher than average rates.
Simon Ash, from personal protective footwear manufacturer HAIX, comments: “MSD injuries are most commonly associated with pain in the joints and muscles, with pain or stiffness in the back and upper limbs most common. Back pain is often related to tasks that involve lifting and carrying, bending and squatting, and spending long periods of time in one position.
“The right shoes support the whole body and help reduce the risk of injury, especially when working in slippery and wet environments. If the shoes are comfortable, people are more likely to focus on their task than worry about their feet. which means that productivity also improves significantly. A key feature to look for when buying work boots is that they actively work to correct foot posture, which can help reduce lower body and back pain by aligning the spine properly. This will reduce MSDs and provide superior long-term comfort.
“Ultimately, the latest HSE statistics demonstrate that musculoskeletal injuries are still a major problem in the workplace. When choosing safety shoes, take them seriously and consider both the long-term benefits and the potential impacts incorrect choices can have so more workers can stay safe on their feet.