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Workplace Injury Statistics UK 2024

When they happen, workplace injuries can cost thousands of pounds to both employer and employee. Here are statistics gathered from the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) and showing the number of injuries, the most common workplace injuries, the cost of workplace injuries and the worst industries for accidents.

Number of Workplace Injuries

In the 2022/23 reporting year, RIDDOR data shows there were 60,645 company-reported non-fatal workplace injuries to employees in Great Britain, and Labour Force Survey (LFS) data reports another 561,000 self-reported injuries, totaling 621,645 workplace injuries for the year.

Of the RIDDOR company-reported injuries (which tend to be more serious), 42,920 incapacitated the worker by 7 days or more, representing 71% of all injuries. The number of workplace accidents has declined 4% in the past five years.

Number of Reported Non-fatal Injuries to Employees in Great BritainLFSRIDDORTotal
Number of workplace injuries and illnesses UK

How frequent are workplace injuries? It depends on if you're looking at self-reported LFS data or company-reported RIDDOR data. According to LFS there were 1,750 non-fatal workplace injuries per 100,000 employees in 2022/23, but according to RIDDOR there were just 215 injuries per 100,000 employees (152 of which kept the worker out for at least 7 days). Read more how this is broken out by industry below. Now let's see which injuries are most common at work.

Most Common Non-Fatal Workplace Injuries

There are three factors to consider when analysing the most common workplace injuries: the type of accident (e.g., struck by object, slip, trip or fall, etc.), the nature of the injury (e.g., sprain, fracture, laceration, etc.) and the body part injured (e.g., head, eye, back, etc.).

Kind of Accident

The most common type of non-fatal workplace accident causing injury to employees happens while handling, lifting or carrying something—these accidents can cause back injuries, wrist injuries, etc. and accounted for 20% of workplace injuries.

Slips, trips or falls are the 2nd most common type of workplace accident in Great Britain, accounting for an estimated 19% of all work injuries (18% of self-reported injuries to LFS data and 29% of RIDDOR-reported accidents). These kinds of accidents can cause injury of ankles, back, wrists, heads, etc.

Being hit by a moving object accounted for another 8% of workplace injuries, as did acts of violence (i.e., being physically assaulted by someone).

7 Most Common Kinds of Non-Fatal Workplace InjuriesLabour Force Survey (LFS)RIDDORAverage Percentage
1Injured while handling, lifting or carrying117,00010,23022%
2Slips, trips or falls on same level96,00019,20220%
3Acts of violence40,0005,0658%
4Struck by moving, including flying/falling, object38,0006,4288%
5Contact with moving machinery or vehicle32,0003,6186%
6Falls from a height26,0005,1185%
7Strike against something fixed or stationary23,0002,2614%
Other kinds of accident150,0008,72327%
All accident kinds** 522,000**60,645100%
Chart showing the 7 most common workplace injuries
Most common causes of workplace injuries

Nature of Injury

The most common workplace injuries are sprains and strains, accounting for 28% of all injuries last year. A close second are superficial injuries, which account for 21% of all injuries. Fractures represent a further 17% of job-related injuries. Of note, fractures are less likely to lead to long-term incapacitation compared to sprains and strains.

Most Common Non-Fatal Workplace InjuriesLFSRIDDORPercentage
Sprains and strains124,00016,01324%
Superficial injuries97,0002,03717%
Lacerations and open wounds80,0005,63115%
All injuries522,00060,645100%
Number of workplace injuries and illnesses UK

Site of Injury

There is no LFS data for the site of injury for self-reported injuries, but we can look at the RIDDOR data (to reiterate, this data only represents a portion of workplace injuries—those reported by a company).

In terms of general parts of the body, upper limbs are most commonly injured in workplace-related accident in Great Britain, with 22,656 RIDDOR-reported injuries affecting the fingers, thumbs, hands, wrists or the rest of the arm (37% of workplace injuries) in 2022/23. Specifically, there were 6,335 injuries to one or more fingers/thumb(s), 4,589 injuries to wrists and 3,859 injuries to hands. 65% of upper limb injuries keep an employee off work for over 7 days.

However, the back is the specific body part most commonly injured at work. In the 2022/23 reporting year there were 7,803 back injuries to employees reported in Great Britain, representing 13% of injuries. Back injuries typically keep an employee out of work for a long time, with 91% of injuries incapacitating an employee for over 7 days.

There were 5,454 head injuries due to work last year (9% of the total), 4,077 of which kept the employee out for 7+ days. Of head injuries, 616 were related specifically to the eye (1% of all injuries).

Ankles are another body part commonly injured at work—there were 5,716 ankle injuries in 2022/23 (9% of all injuries).

Number of RIDDOR reported non-fatal injuries to employeesOver 7-day incapacitationTotalPercentage of Total
All injuries42,92060,645
All head injuries4,0775,4549%
Other parts of face6871,1092%
Head (excluding face)2,5963,4306%
Several locations of head1181450%
All torso injuries10,07012,19120%
Several locations of torso4406991%
All upper limb injuries14,83922,65637%
One or more finger/thumb(s)5,8366,33510%
Rest of upper limb4,3867,24212%
Several locations of upper limb5096311%
All lower limb injuries11,74817,73829%
One or more toes7167291%
Rest of lower limb5,6807,24612%
Several locations of lower limb3614831%
Several locations1,4221,7033%
General locations4775491%
Unspecified locations2873541%

Cost of Workplace Injuries and Illnesses

How much do workplace injuries and illness cost? Let's look at HSE data for costs to both employer and employee.

Costs to the Employer of Workplace Injuries and Illnesses

According to the HSE, a fatal employee accident costs a business £111,500 on average. Non-fatal injuries cost a business £1,900 on average, but injuries that incapacitate an employee for at least 7 days cost 4X as much (£7,600). Illnesses caused by work have a larger financial impact on a business, with an average cost of £4,100—but work-related illnesses keeping an employee out for at least a week cost a business £8,300 on average.

Costs to Employers of Workplace Accidents and Illnesses
Fatal accidents£111,500
Non-fatal injuries
7 or more days absence£7,600
Up to 6 days absence£110
Ill Health
7 or more days absence£8,300
Up to 6 days absence£150

The high cost of injuries and illnesses in the workplace contributes to the cost of employers' liability insurance, which is required by law in most cases.

Costs to the Employee of Workplace Injuries and Illnesses

The cost to an employee of a workplace injury or illness can be much greater. The cost to an employee is more than monetary—it includes both a 'human' and a 'financial' element. What does 'human' cost refer to? In addition to financial costs, employers' liability insurance payouts can compensate for the ‘human costs’ of an injury—this refers to quality of life losses.

For example, the average fatal injury costs an employee £304,200 (e.g., in lost wages) but an additional £1,389,000 in 'human' costs (e.g., the quality of life impact on the family of the deceased).

Total Costs to Employees of Workplace Accidents and Illnesses
Fatal accidents£1,693,000
Non-fatal injuries
7 or more days absence£29,800
Up to 6 days absence£410
Ill Health
7 or more days absence£22,400
Up to 6 days absence£480

Costs are just one reason that workplace safety is so important.

Non-Fatal Workplace Injuries by Industry

When comparing workplace injury statistics across industries, it's useful to look at both the rate of injuries (e.g., the number of injuries per employee) and the actual number of injuries. The rate of injuries in an industry gives a sense of how dangerous a specific line of work is. For this section we considered both LFS and RIDDOR data.

Rate of Workplace Injuries by Industry

The industry with the highest overall rate of non-fatal workplace injuries in the Great Britain is agriculture, forestry and fishing, with a weighted average of 3,976 non-fatal injuries per 100,000 employees. This industry has the highest rate of self-reported injuries via both the Labour Force Survey (3,730 injuries/100,000 employees) and RIDDOR (246 injuries/100,000 employees). The data show that agriculture, forestry and fishing are the most dangerous jobs in the UK for employees.

In terms of total number of injuries, Labour Force Survey stats show that Human health and social work activities (76,000 injures), then Wholesale and retail trade; repair of motor vehicles and motorcycles (69,000 injuries) are the industries with the most non-fatal injuries. Like the LFS data, RIDDOR data shows that Human health and social work activities is the industry with the most non-fatal injuries (10,834) followed by Manufacturing (10,382).


According to RIDDOR data, there were 10,230 non-fatal workplace injuries caused by handling, lifting or carrying in the 2022/23 reporting year in Great Britain; self-reported Labour Force Survey data shows another 117,000 injuries of the same cause. Overall, this accounted for 22% of all workplace injuries (or 26% of injuries that incapacitated an employee for 7 days or more).
The total costs to individual, employer and government of workplace injuries and illnesses was £20.7 billion in 2022/23—£13.1 billion attributed to ill health and £7.7 billion to injury. The majority of this total (£12.2 billion) was borne by individuals, £4.6 billion by the government and £3.9 billion by the employer.
The most common kind of non-fatal workplace injury is being injured while handling, lifting or carrying (accounting for 22% of injuries); the most common nature of workplace injury is sprains and strains (24% of all injuries); and the most common specific body part to be injured is the back (13% of injuries).
Depending on the circumstances of your injury you may be able to sue your employer. Most employers have employers' liability insurance in place which can cover these situations.
Read the guidance on reporting workplace injuries here.


To calculate the figures in this study, we analysed 2022/23 data from both the Labour Force Survey (LFS) and the Reporting of Injuries, Diseases and Dangerous Occurrences Regulations (RIDDOR). LFS reflects self-reported injuries and RIDDOR data reflects injuries reported by companies.

RIDDOR is the best data source available for some workplace injury metrics in the UK (e.g., body parts most commonly injured), however non-fatal injuries are substantially under-reported via RIDDOR so actual numbers of injuries are higher than the RIDDOR figures, which is why we also included LFS data where available.



Business Insurance

The guidance on this site is based on our own analysis and is meant to help you identify options and narrow down your choices. We do not advise or tell you which product to buy; undertake your own due diligence before entering into any agreement. Read our full disclosure here.