More than half of the working days lost across Great Britain in 2019/20 were a result of mental ill-health issues, according to newly released statistics.
In its annual injury and ill-health statistics report, the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) details days lost to the economy as a result of work-related ill health and workplace injuries.
It reports that Covid-19, which emerged as a national health issue at the end of the final quarter of 2019/20, may have been a contributing factor but had not been a main driver of the results reported.
About 693,000 workers sustained non-fatal injuries in 2019/2020 and 1.6 million workers are reported as having suffered from work-related ill-health.
Compiled from the Labour Force Survey (LFS) and other sources, the HSE statistics include:
There were 111 fatal injuries at work
- 1.6 million working people were suffering from a work-related illness
- 38.8 million working days were lost due to work-related illness and workplace injury
- 325 cases were prosecuted and resulted in a conviction (fines from convictions totalled £35.8 million)
- In 2019/2020, the estimated economic cost to Great Britain totalled £16.2 billion, with 38.8 million working days lost.
HSE chair Sarah Newton commented: “Although Great Britain continues to be up there with the safest places in the world to work, these figures highlight the scale of the challenge HSE currently faces in making Britain an even healthier and safer place to work, this includes our role in the response to the pandemic to ensure workplaces are Covid-secure.”
“We must continue to drive home the importance of managing risk and promoting behaviours to ensure employers work right so that workers are able to go home healthy and safe at the end of each day.”
Kathryn Barnes, European counsel for recruitment firm Globalization Partners, commented:
“Now is a good time for business leaders to put policies in place and to practice what they preach. It is promising to see more companies nominating health and wellbeing champions, trained by advisors and practitioners to help recognise and support employee wellbeing.
“There is a changing culture when it comes to mental health at work, but still more work needs to be done. Organisations should embrace and encourage positive mental health initiatives and be supporting employees as best they can - not just during our current lockdown situation, but at all times going forward.”
The full report can be found on HSE’s website.