Workplace health


Workplace health

Health is about feeling good and protecting people from disease and ill-health.

Most people are aware of the dangers from asbestos or legionnaires disease, but everyday items like cleaning products can cause severe burns and dermatitis if proper precautions are not taken. Poor lifting and handling, bad posture, and stress or anxiety also contribute to the pain and distress of ill health and the cost to businesses and society as a whole.

For instance:

  • In 2010/11 workplace illness cost society an estimated £8.4 billion. In 2012-13 1.1 million workers were suffering from an illness. Over 500,000 were new cases.
  • Around 13000 people die each year due to work related illness. Current estimates suggest around 8000 are due to occupational cancers.
  • In 2012, there were 1550 new cases of skin disease reported to dermatologists, of which three quarters were suffering from contact dermatitis. Hairdressers/barbers and florists are the occupations with the highest rates of contact dermatitis
  • Around 80 per cent of new work-related conditions are either musculoskeletal disorders or stress, depression or anxiety.
  • Musculoskeletal disorders are the most common type of work related illness.
  • Mental ill health gives rise to most working days lost.

Lifestyle can also contribute to the health of the workforce. Smoking, consumption of excess alcohol, poor diet and long working hours can all contribute to increased absenteeism and additional costs.

For more information on workplace health please follow the links below:

Hazardous substances

Asbestos in the workplace

Manual handling

Work related stress

Display screen equipment

Workplace noise

Animal petting



Healthier lifestyles

Working times


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