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Construction Industry Safety Statistics in Great Britain, 2023: HSE Executive Summary

The latest HSE report on British construction highlights critical health and safety issues: 69,000 workers with work-related ill health, 45 fatal injuries, and 53,000 non-fatal injuries in 2022/23. Musculoskeletal disorders affect 54% of ill workers, with 16,000 experiencing work-related mental health issues and 4,000 suffering from lung problems. The economic impact is substantial, at £1.3 billion in 2021/22, with 2.6 million working days lost annually. These findings emphasise the ongoing need for enhanced safety and health standards in the construction sector.

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This article is an executive summary of the Construction statistics in Great Britain, 2022 Data up to March 2022 Annual statistics Published 23 November 2022 by HSE.gov. The full version of the article can be found on the HSE website.


This article presents an executive summary of the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) Report titled "Construction statistics in Great Britain, 2023". The report provides critical insights into the health and safety landscape within the British construction sector. It covers ill health, fatal and non-fatal injuries, economic costs, and the number of working days lost in the sector.

1. 69,000 Construction Workers Suffering from Work-Related Ill Health

Based on data from the Labour Force Survey (LFS), the report records an estimated 69,000 workers suffering from work-related ill health during the period of 2020/21 to 2022/23 (Source: LFS, average estimate over 2020/21-2022/23, Page 7).

2. 45 Fatal Injuries to Workers in 2022/23

The report registered 45 fatal injuries to workers in the year 2022/23. This number exhibits some upward fluctuation compared to the annual average of 37 fatalities noted over the five-year period 2018/19-2022/23 (Source: RIDDOR, 2022/23, Page 18).

3. 3 Fatal Injuries to the Public in 2022/23

In the same period, 3 fatal injuries were reported among members of the public. This number aligns well with the five-year annual average of 4 fatalities (Source: RIDDOR, 2022/23, Page 18).

4. Non-Fatal Injuries Stand at 53,000

The three-year period 2020/21-2022/23 witnessed 53,000 workers sustaining non-fatal injuries at their workplace. Despite the onset of the coronavirus pandemic, the injury rate has largely followed earlier trends (: LFS, average estimate over 2020/21-2022/23, Page 20).

5. 54% of All Ill Health Related to Musculoskeletal Disorders

Of the workers suffering from work-related ill health, 54% were found to be suffering from musculoskeletal disorders. It’s noteworthy that this rate is statistically significantly higher than that for workers across all other industries (Source: LFS, average estimate over 2020/21-2022/23, Page 10).

6. 16,000 Workers Suffering from Work-Related Stress, Depression or Anxiety

In the construction sector, it was estimated that 16,000 workers were suffering from new or long-standing work-related stress, depression or anxiety. This constitutes 24% of all ill health in this sector (Source: LFS, average estimate over 2020/21-2022/23, Page 13).

7. 4,000 Workers Suffering from Work-Related Breathing or Lung Problems

4,000 workers were estimated to be suffering from work-related breathing or lung problems. About 0.2% of workers in the sector were affected by lung disorders, at a rate which is statistically significantly higher than all industries (Source: LFS, average estimate over 2016/17-2022/23, Page 14).

8. Non-Fatal Injuries Reported by Employers Stand at 4,038

Employers reported 4,038 non-fatal injuries to employees under RIDDOR in 2022/23 (Source: RIDDOR, 2022/23, Page 20).

9. Economic Cost Estimated at £1.3 Billion in 2021/22

The economic cost of workplace injury and ill health in the construction sector was estimated at £1.3 billion for the year 2021/22. This comprises 6% of the total cost of all work-related ill health and injury (£20.6 billion) (Page 24).

10. Around 2.6 Million Working Days Lost Annually

The construction sector reported around 2.6 million working days (full-day equivalent) lost each year due to workplace injury (20%) and work-related illness (80%). This equates to approximately 1.3 working days lost per worker, a figure not significantly different from the all industry level of 1.1 days (Page 25).

Conclusion

In summary, the HSE Report highlights the ongoing challenges in health and safety within the British construction sector. While some statistics underline the risks associated with the industry, others highlight the determination to maintain a safe and secure work environment, even in the face of a global pandemic. The report underscores the importance of industry-wide commitment to the continual improvement of safety standards and procedures across the sector.

Author

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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