Rise in reported non-fatal injuries in waste sector, HSE says

Statistics published by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) have shown that there were 1,616 non-fatal injuries reported in the waste sector in 2022/23, a rise of nearly 4%. *

The statistics were published yesterday (22 November) as part of the HSE’s annual work-related ill health and injury statistics for 2022/23. 

The detailed breakdown shows that for the sector, broken down as ‘waste collection, treatment and disposal activities and material recovery’, there were 1,616 reported non-fatal injuries in 2022/23, up from 1,555 the previous year.

In 2019/20 there were 1,509 reported non-fatal injuries, this number reduced significantly to 1,334 in 2020/21 and 1,302 employees in 2021/22 .

While the rise is concerning, the HSE said a number of incidents go unreported, so a rise can be reflective of more confidence in reporting rather than anything else. There was also some concern raised since 2020 over the impact of the pandemic on reported injuries.

The statistics follow data earlier this year which shows there were six fatal injuries in the waste sector in 2022/23, up from one the previous year (see letsrecycle.com story).


The figures form part of the HSE’s national data which showed that 1.8 million workers reported they were suffering from work-related ill health in 2022/23, with approximately half of the cases down to stress, depression or anxiety.

In the recent years prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, the rate of self-reported work-related ill health had been broadly flat, but the current rate is higher than 2018/19.

There were an estimated 875,000 cases of work-related stress, depression or anxiety in 2022/23. The current rate of self-reported work-related stress, depression or anxiety is higher than the pre-pandemic level .

An estimated 35.2 million working days were lost in 2022/23 due to self-reported work-related ill health or injury.

HSE’s chief executive Sarah Albon said: “Preventing or tackling work-related stress can provide significant benefits to employees, improving their experience of work and their overall health; and also to employers including increased productivity, decreased absenteeism and reduced staff turnover.”

Nationally, the figures also show that 135 workers were killed in work-related accidents in 2022/23, while 561,000 workers sustained a self-reported non-fatal injury in the workplace during the same period.


*This article was corrected on 27 November to reflect a 4% rise, not a 20% rise as stated. The previous figure had compared against the rate of non-fatal injuries per 100,000 workers.

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