In a concerning report released yesterday, the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) disclosed that nearly two million workers in Great Britain suffered from work-related ill health in the fiscal year 2022/23.
The annual statistics shed light on a troubling rise in work-related stress, depression, anxiety, and injuries, posing significant challenges to both employees and employers alike.
According to the HSE’s data, a staggering 1.8 million workers reported experiencing work-related ill health during the 2022/23 period. Of these cases, approximately half were attributed to stress, depression, or anxiety. This marks a troubling departure from pre-pandemic trends when the rate of self-reported work-related ill health had remained relatively stable. The current rate is notably higher than that recorded in 2018/19.
The report further reveals that an estimated 875,000 cases of work-related stress, depression, or anxiety were reported in 2022/23, exceeding the levels seen before the COVID-19 pandemic. These mental health-related issues are significantly impacting the well-being of the workforce.
One of the most startling revelations is the toll this is taking on the nation’s productivity. An estimated 35.2 million working days were lost in 2022/23 due to self-reported work-related ill health or injury. This loss of productivity is a pressing concern for businesses across the country.
HSE’s Chief Executive, Sarah Albon, emphasised the importance of addressing these issues promptly, “Preventing or tackling work-related stress can provide significant benefits to employees, improving their experience of work and their overall health; and also to employers including increased productivity, decreased absenteeism, and reduced staff turnover.”
The report also delves into the economic impact of work-related ill health and workplace injuries. In 2021/22, the estimated annual costs associated with workplace injuries and new cases of work-related ill health reached a staggering £20.7 billion. This represents a £1.9 billion increase compared to figures from 2019/20. The rising economic burden underscores the urgency of taking action to improve workplace safety and mental health support.
Tragically, the report reveals that 135 workers lost their lives in work-related accidents during the 2022/23 period, and an additional 561,000 workers sustained self-reported non-fatal injuries in the workplace. These statistics serve as a stark reminder of the critical need for continued efforts to enhance workplace safety standards.
The HSE’s annual report serves as a stark wake-up call for both employers and policymakers to prioritise the well-being and safety of the workforce. As the country grapples with the long-lasting effects of the pandemic, addressing the rising rates of work-related ill health and injuries must be a top priority to ensure the health, productivity, and prosperity of Great Britain.