These latest figures show just how important solutions that protect long term health are.
4th March 2020
The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) has released its statistics for 2018/19.* As in previous years, these shocking figures clearly show the devastating effects noise, dust and fume hazards have on workers.
Currently there are 1.4 million cases of work-related illness across the UK. 497,000 of these cases were newly reported in 2018/19.
There were 581,000 non-fatal workplace injuries, according to the Labour Force Survey.
28.2 million working days have been lost and the estimated cost of these injuries and cases of ill-health from current working conditions is a staggering £15 billion.
By breaking down these statistics we can see how different hazards are specifically impacting on long-term health:
There were 21,000 workers reported to be living with work-related hearing problems from 2016/17 to 2018/19 due to excessive noise on site.
There were also 55 new claims for work-related deafness in 2018.
13,000 deaths were estimated to be linked to past exposure at work, primarily to chemicals or dust.
12,000 deaths are caused by occupational lung diseases, primarily Mesothelioma, Asbestos-related lung cancer, non-asbestos related lung cancer and Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD).
18,000 new cases of breathing or lung problems caused or made worse by work each year have been reported over the last three years according the Labour Force Survey.
There were 132 new cases of occupational asthma seen by chest physicians in 2018.
There were 2,526 Mesothelioma deaths due to past asbestos exposures in 2018/19 and there are projected to be approximately 2,500 Mesothelioma deaths per year for the rest of the decade.
HSE’s most recent cancer burden report puts the number of lung cancer deaths associated with exposure to RCS (Respirable Crystalline Silica) at around 600 deaths per year with 450 of these occurring from exposures in the construction sector.
Over 75,000 workers are exposed to welding fumes, with around 152 deaths per year from fume-related lung cancer according to the HSE website.
According to the HSE’s most recent cancer burden report, Diesel Engine Exhaust Emissions (DEEEs) cause an estimated 625 deaths, and over 10,000 workers are exposed to DEEEs.
Lung cancer caused by Radon gas exposure kills an estimated 184 people per year, according to the HSE website.
As the construction industry focuses more on mental health and wellbeing, it should also be noted that there were 0.6 million cases of work-related stress, depression or anxiety reported in 2018/19.
Being aware of health hazards and implementing effective systems to minimise their effects is what will make a difference to protecting long term health. To learn more about health hazard control, click here.
* HSE Statistics can be found in the HSE’s Health and safety at work Summary statistics for Great Britain 2019 here and on their website.
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