HSE publishes annual statistics on work-related skin disease in Great Britain, including estimates of how many people currently have skin problems they consider to be caused or made worse by work. HSE also estimates the number of new cases of skin disease seen by occupational physicians and dermatologists each year.
The two main sources for this information are:
- the Self-reported Work‑related Illness survey (SWI) – for estimates of how many people say they currently have skin disease (which is an indication of disease prevalence); and
- the Health and Occupation Reporting network (THOR) – for information about newly occurring cases (which is an indication of incidence).
The SWI survey is part of the Labour Force Survey (LFS), a national survey of households living at private addresses in the UK People are asked about any work‑related illness, including illness due to skin disease.
THOR is a scheme in which specialist doctors report cases of work-related disease that are referred to them for treatment. Occupational physicians also report into THOR. Cases of occupational skin disease referred to dermatologists are reported via a scheme within THOR known as EPIDERM.
Although the SWI survey and THOR scheme are the two main established sources of data on occupational skin disease, they are likely to underestimate the overall prevalence and incidence of the disease respectively in Great Britain.
Most of the recent cases of work-related skin disease seen by specialist doctors were dermatitis; nearly all the rest were skin cancer.
HSE’s statistics web pages contain further information on work-related skin disease and the most up-to-date skin disease statistics.