Key Health and Safety Statistics for 2020/2021

Hot off the press here are the latest statistics on work-related health and safety in Great Britain, including the following key annual figures for 2020/21:

  • 1.7 million working people suffering from work-related ill health

in the recent years prior to the coronavirus pandemic, the rate of self-reported work-related ill health had been broadly flat. In 2020/21 the rate was higher than the 2018/19 pre-coronavirus levels. A concerning 50% of New and long-standing cases of work-related ill health related to Stress, depression or anxiety. Industries with higher than average rates of stress, depression or anxiety included Public admin/defence, Education and Human health/social work.

Workload, lack of support, violence threats or bullying and changes at work were estimated to be the main causes of work-related stress, depression or anxiety prior to the pandemic based on 2009/10-2011/12 Labour Force Survey data.

It comes as no surprise that in 2020/21 the effects of the coronavirus pandemic were also found to be a major contributory factor to work-related stress, depression or anxiety.

  • 93,000 workers suffering from COVID-19 which they believe may have been due to coronavirus exposure at work.

Around half of those suffering were in human health and social work activities.

  • 645,000 workers suffering from a work-related illness caused or made worse by the effect of the pandemic.

70% related to Stress, depression or anxiety (449,000), 17% Other type of illness (110,000), 13% Musculoskeletal disorders (85,000)

  • 2,369 mesothelioma deaths due to past asbestos exposures (2019)


  • 142 workers killed at work

Tragically 1 death is too many in our opinion however the rate of fatal injury over the prior years did show a downward trend however this has been broadly flat in recent years.

  • 441,000 injuries occurred at work according to the Labour Force Survey


  • 51,211 injuries to employees reported under RIDDOR

Agriculture, forestry and fishing, construction, accommodation and food service activities and wholesale and retail trade (including motor vehicle repair) had statistically significantly higher injury rates than for all industries.

  • Enforcement

The restrictions imposed by the coronavirus pandemic has had an impact on the number of prosecutions and notices issued. This year has seen a substantial fall in the number of cases prosecuted.

The number of notices issued by HSE bodies showed a substantial decrease compared to the previous year. Though the total value of all fines has decreased from 2019/20 figures, the average fine per case has increased from £107,000 to £145,000.

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