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93,000 workers report catching Covid at work in 2021

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In the last year, 93,000 workers have self-reported catching Covid-19 at work, according to HSE’s latest official statistics.


Out of these 52,000 worked in the health and social work sector.

In addition, 645,000 workers reported that their work-related illness was caused or made worse by the coronavirus pandemic; 70 per cent of these were cases of stress, depression or anxiety.

These are new estimates from HSE covering the 2020/21 period, which have been developed to measure the impact of the coronavirus and are based on reports from workers.

HSE normally records Covid-19 infection where exposure occurs as a result of a person's work through employers’ reporting cases.

Between April 2020 and April 2021, employers reported a total of 32,022 Covid-19 infections and 387 deaths under RIDDOR, according to HSE’s database.

52,000 health and social care workers reported catching Covid to HSE in 2020/21. Photograph: iStock

HSE’s Chief Executive, Sarah Albon, commented: “These annual statistics are important to give us a clear picture of the health and safety risks faced by workers in the Great Britain and help to inform the measures HSE, employers, policy-makers and workers themselves need to take to ensure everyone can go home from work safe and well.”

The figures also show that 1.7 million workers are currently suffering from a work-related illness, up from 1.6 million in 2019/20. Of these, around half were stress, depression or anxiety and 28 per cent were musculoskeletal disorders.

Sarah Albon continued: “The latest figures on work-related stress reinforce our previous concerns around the scale of this issue in workplaces.” She said that last month HSE announced a campaign – Working Minds – to help employers make recognising the signs of work-related stress routine.

“HSE continues to act as a proportionate and enabling regulator taking the most appropriate actions to achieve the best and quickest result. However, where employers fall short of expected standards, HSE will not hesitate to hold those responsible to account.”

HSE statistics available here

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