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Facts & Figures

Fatal injuries

The number of workers fatally injured in work related accidents in 2014/15 was 142.

This is equivalent to a rate of fatal injury of approx 0.46 in 100,000 workers. 1

Of the main industrial sectors, construction, agriculture and waste and recycling have the highest rates of fatal injuries.

The most common kinds of accident involved with fatal injuries are: falls from height; contact with moving machinery; and being struck by a vehicle. 2

Fatal diseases

There are an estimated 13,000 deaths per year as a result of past exposure to harmful working conditions.

The current estimate of the annual number of occupational cancer deaths in Great Britian is around 8,000, 4,000 of those due to past exposure to asbestos.

An estimated 4,000 Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease deaths are caused each year due to past occupational exposure to fumes, chemicals and dust. 1


There were over 611,000 self reported work-place injuries reported in 2014/15. 3

  • There were 76,054 non-fatal injuries to employees report in 2014/15 (provisional).
  • 198,000 self reported injuries lead to over 3 days absence and 152,000 led to over 7 days absence.

Resulting in 4.7 million working days lost due to workplace injury in 2014/15. 1

The most frequent causes of injury are manual handling, slips and trips and falls from height. 3

Ill health

HSE estimates that there are 1.2 million cases of ill health caused or made worse by work, with 22.3 million working days lost due to work-related illness. 1

Stress, depression or anxiety and musculoskeletal disorders accounted for the majority of days lost due to work-related ill health, 9.9 and 9.5 million days respectively. 3

Around 80 per cent of new work-related conditions were either musculoskeletal disorders or stress, depression or anxiety. 1


27.3 million working days are lost annually due to work-related injury and illness 1

The cost to British employers of health and safety failure was estimated to be £2.8 billion in 2013/14 4.


Those found guilty in a magistrate's court of health and safety offences can face fines of up to £20,000 and/or up to 12 months imprisonment. Conviction in a Crown Court can result in an unlimited fine and/or a period of imprisonment of up to two years. 5

Work related road risk

More than a quarter of road traffic accidents are estimated to involve somebody who is at work driving as part of their work at the time.6


  1. Health and Safety Executive Annual Statistics Report 2014/15
  2. Health and Safety statistics for 2014/15 - Kind of Accidents
  3. At a glance guide to Health and Safety Statistics 2014/15, HSE
  4. HSE Enforcement Policy Statement
  5. Driving at work Managing work-related road safety, Department for Work and Transport, HSE, 2003

RoSPA cannot be held responsible for the accuracy or completeness of any pages on linked websites.

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