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Executive Summary of Workplace Safety Statistics in Wales 2023

In our latest blog, we highlight the HSE 2023 report on Wales' workplace health and safety. Key points include: 87,000 workers annually suffering from work-related illnesses, 49% of which are mental health issues. Musculoskeletal disorders affect 29% of these cases. There's a significant impact on productivity with 1.8 million lost workdays per year. Wales experiences higher fatal injury rates compared to Great Britain, with 15 worker fatalities and 24,000 non-fatal injuries annually. The economic burden is significant at £842 million annually, including costs from 450 deaths and 600 cancer cases linked to past workplace exposures. This data underscores the urgent need for improved health and safety measures in Welsh workplaces.

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Executive Summary of the HSE Report: Workplace Health and Safety Statistics for Wales, 2023

This is an executive summary of the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) report on workplace health and safety statistics for Wales in 2023. The report provides a comprehensive overview of the health and safety conditions in Welsh workplaces, with particular emphasis on work-related illnesses and injuries. The following are some of the key findings from the report.

1. 87,000 Workers Suffer from Work-Related Ill Health Each Year

According to the Labour Force Survey (LFS), an annual average of 87,000 workers suffer from work-related illnesses each year. This translates to a rate of 5,610 cases per 100,000 workers, which is not statistically different from the Great Britain rate of 5,210 cases per 100,000 workers. The trend has remained steady over the past three years (source: LFS, annual average 2020/21-2022/23).

2. 49% of New or Long-Standing Conditions are Stress, Depression or Anxiety

The LFS data also indicates that 49% of new or long-standing conditions are related to stress, depression, or anxiety. This underscores the significant impact of mental health issues in the workplace (source: LFS, annual average 2020/21-2022/23).

3. 29% of Work-Related Illnesses are Musculoskeletal Disorders

The report further reveals that 29% of work-related illnesses are musculoskeletal disorders, affecting approximately 25,000 workers annually. This represents a rate of 1,640 cases per 100,000 workers, which is not statistically different from the Great Britain rate of 1,420 cases per 100,000 workers (source: LFS, annual average 2020/21-2022/23).

4. An Average of 1.8 Million Days are Lost to Work-Related Ill Health Each Year

Work-related illnesses result in an average of 1.8 million lost working days each year, at a rate of 1.51 days lost per worker. This highlights the significant productivity loss associated with workplace illnesses (source: LFS, annual average 2020/21-2022/23).

5. There are 15 Fatal Injuries to Workers Annually

The Reporting of Injuries, Diseases and Dangerous Occurrences Regulations (RIDDOR) data shows that there were 15 fatal injuries to workers in Wales in 2022/23. The five-year average is 11 fatal injuries per year, with a rate of 0.73 fatalities per 100,000 workers, which is higher than the GB rate of 0.41 per 100,000 workers (source: RIDDOR, annual average 2018/19-2022/23).

6. There are 24,000 Non-Fatal Injuries to Workers Each Year

The LFS data indicates that there are an estimated 24,000 non-fatal injuries annually, at a rate of 1,670 cases per 100,000 workers. This rate is not statistically different from the GB rate of 1,650 cases per 100,000 workers (source: LFS, annual average 2020/21-2022/23).

7. The Total Cost of Workplace Injury and Ill Health is £842 Million

The HSE Costs to Britain model estimates that the total cost of workplace injuries and ill health in Wales for 2021/22 was £842 million. This figure includes both financial costs and a valuation of human costs (source: HSE Costs to Britain model).

8. There are Approximately 450 Deaths and 600 Cancer Registrations Annually Due to Past Workplace Exposures

If past workplace exposures to carcinogens were similar in Wales to the rest of GB, then there are currently around 450 deaths and 600 cancer registrations (excluding non-melanoma skin cancer) each year in Wales where such exposures contributed (source: HSE Burden of Occupational Cancer estimates).

9. There are Currently Around 110 Mesothelioma Deaths Each Year in Wales

The report also reveals that there are currently around 110 mesothelioma deaths each year in Wales, which represents 4% of the 2,400 annual deaths in GB (source: HSE mesothelioma register, Industrial Injuries Disablement Benefit (IIDB) scheme).

10. Fatal Injury Rates in Wales are Consistently Higher Than Those of Great Britain

Despite the similar rates of non-fatal injuries, the fatal injury rate in Wales has been consistently higher than that of Great Britain. One possible explanation is that a greater proportion of workers in Wales are employed in higher risk industry sectors or occupations (source: HSE report).

In conclusion, the HSE report provides a comprehensive overview of the state of workplace health and safety in Wales in 2023. The findings highlight the significant impact of work-related illnesses and injuries on workers, productivity, and the economy. It is crucial for all stakeholders to continue working towards improving health and safety conditions in Welsh workplaces.


Richard O'Connor's Headshot

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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