Last reviewed 5 November 2020

The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) has published its latest annual injury and ill-health statistics for the period 2019/2020, which show there were 111 fatal injuries at work and 1.6 million working people suffering from a work-related illness during this period.

Announcing the new figures, the health and safety watchdog said the statistics showed that Britain is still one of the safest places in the world to work with the lowest number of deaths on record.

However, the watchdog also warned that more than half of Britain’s working days lost in 2019/20 were due to mental ill health.

The new annual report by the HSE includes statistics for work-related ill health, workplace injuries, working days lost, enforcement action taken, and the associated costs to Great Britain.

The statistics indicate that in Britain in the 2019/2020 period there were:

  • 111 fatal injuries at work (down from the finalised figure of 149 for the previous period)

  • 1.6 million working people suffering from a work-related illness

  • around 693,000 workers who sustained non-fatal injuries

  • 38.8 million working days lost due to work-related illness and workplace injury

  • 325 cases were prosecuted and resulting in a conviction

  • fines from convictions totalling £35.8 million.

In 2019/2020, the estimated economic cost to Great Britain totalled £16.2 billion, with 38.8 million working days lost.

The HSE says the emergence of Covid-19 as a national health issue at the end of final quarter of 2019/20 does not appear to be the main driver of changes seen in the 2019/20 data, although it is possible that the virus may be a contributory factor.

In response to the report, Sarah Newton, HSE Chair said, “The Covid pandemic has focussed attention on the health and safety issues people face in the workplace. HSE remains committed to taking action where workers are not protected, to ensure the guidance and assistance we provide for employers in managing risks is the best available, based on the latest evidence and science.”

The HSE’s full annual statistics are available on the HSE website.