Occupational ill health

The Food and Occupational Health team investigate illnesses which result from a work undertaking. This may be issues ranging from dermatitis in hairdressers to musculoskeletal disorders in delivery drivers.

The Health and Safety executive estimates that there are 1.2 million cases of ill health every year caused or made worse by work, with 22.1 million working days lost due to work-related illness. Stress, depression or anxiety and musculoskeletal disorders accounted for the majority of days lost due to work-related ill health, 10.8 and 7.6 million days respectively.

Stress

More than one in four workers are affected by work-related stress in the European Union.

People's mental and physical health can be adversely affected by aspects of their working environment, which produce feelings of anxiety and sometimes acute distress. Factors such as long hours, workload, uncertain expectations and very significantly, lack of control over work tasks, can lead to intense feelings of being unable to cope with such pressures and if prolonged this can lead to short as well as longer term damage to physical as well as mental health. Further information on stress in the workplace including duties as an employee.

Manual handling

Although there has been a downward trend in the total number of work-related MSDs over the last 10 years, there were still ½ million reported cases in 2010/11. Musculoskeletal disorders are the most common type of work-related illness 1 leading to over 7.5 million working days lost in 2010/11.

The industry areas with the highest estimated rates of back disorders are in Construction and Human health and social work activities. Further information on muskuloskeletal disorders in the workplace.

Dermatitis

Dermatitis is a skin condition caused by contact with something that irritates the skin or causes an allergic reaction. It usually occurs where the irritant touches the skin, but not always.