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HSE Summary Statistics Release 2023

This year’s statistics show an unchanged picture compared to the previous year in relation to workplace stress, anxiety, and depression.

On 22 November 2023, the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) released its annual summary statistics of workplace injuries and ill health covering the period April 2022 to March 2023.

The statistics reveal continuing high levels of both workplace ill health and workplace stress, anxiety and depression with a rising annual cost to the economy estimated at over £20 billion. In this article, we summarise the main headlines and provide insight on the main causes.

Summary headlines 

  • 1.8 million workers suffering from work-related ill health (new or longstanding cases).
  • 875,000 existing and new cases of workplace stress, anxiety and depression.
  • 561,000 workers suffering a workplace non-fatal injury.
  • 473,00 workers suffering from a musculoskeletal disorder (MSD) - almost identical to that seen in 2021/2022 (477,000 cases).
  • 12,000 lung disease deaths linked to past occupational exposure which includes 2,268 deaths due to mesothelioma (2021).
  • 60,645 injuries reported under RIDDOR.
  • A total of 35.2 million working days lost due to workplace ill health and injury with a total estimated cost to the economy of £20.7 billion.
  • 135 workplace fatalities, though deaths linked to both Covid-19 and lung disease are excluded.

Context and caveats 

The statistics rely for the main part upon Labour Force Report Studies which the HSE recognise may under or overestimate the true position. Once again, the statistics do not include any data in relation to cases of workplace violence.

In more detail  - Workplace mental health: 

The HSE report 875,000 new or longstanding cases of work-related stress, depression or anxiety which include 338,000 “new cases” for 2022/23.

This total is a slight reduction compared to the 914,000 seen in 2021/2022, though this cumulatively has resulted in a total of 17.1 million working days lost. The sectors most impacted are: human health/social work, public administration and education. Human health has a ratio of 3,750 workers in every 100,000 suffering from a new or longstanding case of work-related stress, anxiety or depression.

All three sectors bore the brunt of ‘frontline’ work during the pandemic, indicative that covid-19 has had an enduring impact on workplace mental ill health.

Work-related ill health

A staggering 1.8 million workers are recorded to be suffering from work-related ill health (new or longstanding), resulting in 31.5 million working days lost.

The current ratio is significantly higher than that seen pre-pandemic and is largely attributable to rising levels of workplace stress, anxiety and depression.

Fatal and non-fatal workplace injuries 

135 fatalities were recorded in 2022/2023. The UK’s rate of fatalities per 100,000 workers now stands at 0.38 compared to the highest level recorded in 1988 of 2.5. Accurate statistics have been compiled only from 1981. Once again, the sectors with the highest fatality rates were agriculture/forestry/fishing, construction, manufacturing and transport.

The number of non-fatal workplace injuries stands at 561,000 for the period 2022/2023, a similar figure to that seen in 2021/2022 with the current rate similar to the pre- pandemic position. Notwithstanding ostensibly high workplace injury levels, the UK’s average compares favourably with other European countries.

Occupational disease

2022/2023 saw 12,000 lung disease deaths of which 34% were attributable to COPD, 20% to mesothelioma, 20% to asbestos-related cancer and 24% to non-asbestos-related lung cancer.

An average of 19,000 new cases were reported of breathing or lung problems caused or made worse by work.

Mesothelioma mortality is impacted by a time lag in reporting. Deaths reported in 2021 showed a reduction compared to the previous year of 2,268 deaths. The HSE predict deaths will continue to fall throughout the rest of the decade to an estimated 1,300 deaths per annum by 2030. Highest mortality rates are found amongst those aged 75 years and above.

Cost to the economy

The annual cost of workplace injuries and new cases of work-related ill health (excluding long latency diseases/conditions such as cancer), amounts to an estimated £20.7 billion of which 37% is attributable to workplace injury and 63% to ill health. In relation to the overall cost, £3.9 billion is borne by employers, £4.9 billion by the Government and £12.2 billion by individuals.

The annual cost of workplace injury alone stands at £7.7 billion.


Whilst not set out in its annual summary statistics of workplace injuries and ill health covering the period April 2022 to March 2023, the HSE has published data relating to enforcement action taken by it in 2022/23, the headlines of which are:

  • It investigated over 230 fatal and 5,500 non-fatal accidents;
  • It completed 216 criminal prosecutions with an overall conviction success rate of 94%;
  • It delivered over 16,800 proactive inspections.

What this tells us is that the HSE’s appetite for enforcement action, including starting criminal proceedings, remains high and is a key indicator of its overall performance. Duty-holders will be held to account and should be prepared to respond if challenged over workplace health and safety.


This year’s summary statistics show broadly an unchanged picture compared to the previous year in relation to both workplace stress, anxiety and depression and wider work-related ill health. The cost to individuals, employers and the Government continues to rise and now stands at £20.7 billion compared to £18 billion seen in 2021/2022.

What is clear however from data releases seen from both the Claims Portal Company and the Compensation Recovery Unit (CRU), is that the high levels of workplace ill health are not translating into claims.

Notifications for employers’ liability claims have reduced by a third compared to the pre-pandemic position in the context of a depressed personal injury market.

For further assistance regarding claims arising from work related stress or illness, contact our expert occupational disease solicitors.

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