The most common cause of work related ill health is Musculoskeletal Disorders (MSDs). According to HSE Statistics for 2014/20152, there were 553,000 cases of which 169,000 were completely new cases. MSDs accounted for 44% of the total work-related illnesses. Approximately 40% of MSDs affect the back, and 40% affected the upper limbs. Workers aged 45 years and over were most affected by MSDs.
The second most common work related illness according to HSE Statistics is Work-Related Stress. There were 440,000 cases of which 234,000 were new. Interestingly, work-related stress (stress, depression and anxiety) contributed the most to the amount of days lost – 9.9 million (43% of all working days lost). The prevalence rate for work related stress was 1380 per 100,000 workers. These mental health problems, were seen in women more often than men, and had the highest prevalence in the public sector eg. Education, health & social care. Other less common conditions affecting people in the workforce would be cancer, respiratory conditions and cardiovascular disease.