Industrial Diseases: Death

Department for Work and Pensions written question – answered on 13th February 2019.

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Photo of Martin Vickers Martin Vickers Conservative, Cleethorpes

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, how many people die from occupational diseases by sector each year.

Photo of Sarah Newton Sarah Newton The Minister of State, Department for Work and Pensions

There are currently an estimated 13,000 deaths each year linked to past exposures at work, primarily to chemicals and dusts. Approximately 5,000 of these deaths are due to asbestos-related cancers, a further 4,000 due to other occupational cancers and the remainder due to Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) and other respiratory disease.

As these figures are estimated from different sources of epidemiological information it is not possible to break the overall total down by industry sector. However, earlier research commissioned by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) into the burden of occupational cancer estimated that of the 8,000 cancer deaths in 2005, approximately 3,700 were attributed to exposures in the construction industry; 2,200 to exposures in the manufacturing, mining, quarrying, electricity, gas, and water industries; 2,000 to exposures in the service industry, and less than 100 to exposures in agriculture, hunting, fishing and forestry.

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