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Executive Summary of HSE Pneumoconiosis and Silicosis Statistics 2023

Our latest blog post provides a brief overview of the HSE 2023 report on occupational lung diseases in Great Britain. The report notes an increase in Silicosis cases, with 30 new IIDB assessments in 2022, and a steady average of 12 Silicosis-related deaths per year. For Coal Workers’ Pneumoconiosis, there were 95 new IIDB cases in 2022, with an annual average of 20 cases reported by the THOR network. The report also highlights around 130 yearly deaths from Pneumoconiosis and reveals that a significant proportion of non-coal, non-asbestos IIDB cases are Silicosis, predominantly affecting men over 65. Furthermore, approximately 152,000 workers report respiratory problems related to their work. This summary underscores the persistent health risks associated with these occupational lung diseases.

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Executive Summary of the HSE Report on Silicosis and Coal Workers’ Pneumoconiosis Statistics in Great Britain, 2023

This blog article provides an executive summary of the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) report on Silicosis and Coal Workers’ Pneumoconiosis statistics in Great Britain for the year 2023. The report, published on 22nd November 2023, provides an in-depth analysis of the incidence and trends of these occupational lung diseases.

1. 30 New Cases of Silicosis Assessed for IIDB in 2022

The HSE report reveals that there were 30 new cases of Silicosis assessed for Industrial Injuries Disablement Benefit (IIDB) in 2022, compared to 25 in 2021 (Page 3). This increase could potentially be due to the disruption caused by the coronavirus pandemic in the previous years. However, the annual new cases have reduced over the 10 years prior to the pandemic, with annual averages of 27 new cases per year during the period 2015-19 compared with 50 during the period 2010-2014.

2. 37 New Cases of Silicosis Reported by THOR Network in 2022

The Health and Occupation Reporting (THOR) network reported 37 new cases of Silicosis in 2022, compared to 21 in 2021 (Page 3). However, this increase could be due to the disruption caused by the coronavirus pandemic in the previous years.

3. Average of 12 Deaths per Year from Silicosis Over the 10 Years to 2021

Over the 10 years leading up to 2021, there has been an average of 12 deaths per year from Silicosis (Page 3). The impact of the coronavirus pandemic on these figures is uncertain.

4. 95 New Cases of Coal Workers’ Pneumoconiosis Assessed for IIDB in 2022

In 2022, there were 95 new cases of Coal Workers’ Pneumoconiosis assessed for IIDB, compared with 110 in 2021 (Page 4). The report suggests that the figures for 2020 and 2021 may have been affected by the coronavirus pandemic.

5. Average of 172 New Cases of Coal Workers’ Pneumoconiosis per Year During 2015-2019

The report shows a decrease in the annual new cases of Coal Workers’ Pneumoconiosis assessed for IIDB prior to the coronavirus pandemic, with an average of 172 new cases per year during the period 2015-2019 compared with 274 per year during the period 2010-2014 (Page 4).

6. Average of 20 New Cases of Coal Workers’ Pneumoconiosis Identified by THOR Network Annually

The THOR network has reported an average of around 20 new cases of Coal Workers’ Pneumoconiosis annually, though these figures have fluctuated substantially year-on-year (Page 4).

7. Average of 130 Deaths per Year from Pneumoconiosis Over the 10 Years to 2019

Annual deaths from Pneumoconiosis have remained relatively constant over the 10 years to 2019, with an average of around 130 deaths per year. There were 63 deaths in 2021 and 73 in 2020, though these figures may have been affected by the coronavirus pandemic (Page 4).

8. Majority of IIDB Cases Not Due to Coal or Asbestos Are Silicosis

The report indicates that the majority of IIDB cases that are not due to coal or asbestos are Silicosis. There were 30 new cases assessed for IIDB in 2022 compared with 25 in 2021 (Page 6).

9. 75% of IIDB Cases of Pneumoconiosis Due to ‘Other’ Agents Occur in Men Aged Over 65

About 75% of IIDB cases of Pneumoconiosis due to ‘other’ agents (mainly silica) occur in men aged over 65 (Page 8).

10. Around 152,000 People Who Had Ever Worked Currently Have Breathing or Lung Problems Caused or Made Worse by Work

Based on data from the Labour Force Survey (LFS) in 2020/21, 2021/22 and 2022/23, it is estimated that around 152,000 people who had ever worked currently have breathing or lung problems caused or made worse by work (Page 9).

Conclusion

This executive summary has provided a brief overview of the key findings from the HSE report on Silicosis and Coal Workers’ Pneumoconiosis statistics in Great Britain, 2023. The report highlights the impact of these occupational lung diseases and the potential underestimation of their incidence due to the disruption caused by the coronavirus pandemic. It also underscores the importance of continuous monitoring and prevention measures to protect workers' health.

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Richard O'Connor is a Director at First Mats. He has deep knowledge in areas like Manufacturing, Warehousing, Marine, and Health & Safety. Richard's insights have been featured in well-known publications such as Bloomberg Business, The Sun, and Reader's Digest. His blend of industry expertise and passion for sharing makes him a sought-after voice in his fields.

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