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Musculoskeletal disorders leap by a fifth, according to latest HSE data

While the UK remains one of the safest places to work in Europe, work related ill health continues to rise for British employees according to the latestdata from the Health and Safety Executive. The HSE claims that there weresome 28 million days lost over the lastyear, costing the economy over 14 billion. While the most dangerous professions continue to be construction, agriculture and manufacturing, the report found that over two thirds of days lost (20 million) and some 9 billion can be attributed to a number of well defined causes rooted in the modern workplace; musculoskeletal disorders, stress, anxiety and depression. The HSE study claims that around 80 per cent of new work-related illnesseswere attributableto these conditions.Of the 535,000 new illnesses reported in 2013/14, 184,000 were musculoskeletal disorders and 244,000 were related to stress and depression. There are now over half a million (526,000) people with self-reported cases of musculoskeletal disorders in the UK, up by 20 percent since figures were last reported in 2011/12.

The report also found that around 2 million people were suffering from an illness (long standing as well as new cases) they believed was caused or made worse by their current or past work. Reports of ill health by doctors and specialist physicians back up the data. In 2005, a surveillance scheme was created to collect reports of new cases of work-related ill health from a sample of around 250 general practitioners (GPs). In 2013, the scheme found that musculoskeletal disorders were the most common type of work-related illness, accounting for nearly 50 percent of the total.

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