Sick Businesswoman Work-related Illnesses in the office

Protecting Your Workforce: Tackling Work-Related Illnesses Head-On!

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Written by: SafeWorkforce
4th April

What is a work-related illnesses?

Work-related illnesses are occupational illnesses or disease which are caused by the work environment or activities that are part of your occupation.

Common work-related illnesses are:

  • Dermatitis which can be caused by physical, biological or chemical agents.
  • Musculoskeletal disorders are a group of painful disorders of muscles, tendons, and nerves. Carpal tunnel syndrome, tendonitis, and tension neck syndrome
  • Occupational Asthma occurs when you breathe in chemical fumes, gases, dust or other substances at work.
  • Occupational cancer, caused wholly or partly by exposure to a carcinogen at work.
  • Hearing loss caused through exposure to loud noise or ototoxic chemicals.

Watch our webinar on reducing the risk of a work-related illness.

What is an employer’s duty for avoiding work-related illnesses?

Employers have a duty to carry out a risk assessment of the potential risks and identify those who may be exposed to the risk such as employees or visitors.

What are the steps of a risk assessment?

A risk assessment must identify

  • The risks
  • who might be harmed and how
  • what you're already doing to control the risks
  • what further action you need to take to control the risks
  • who needs to carry out the action
  • when the action is needed by.

How can employers avoid a work-related illness?

Training & Awareness

Employers should ensure that their employees are made aware of potential risk and are given suitable training and information regarding safe working practices along with any PPE required.

Health & Safety Professional

Where a risk assessment identifies a potential risk of a workplace illness then employers should consider employing the services of a health professional to carry out regular monitoring and screening of the workforce who are potentially at risk.


Monitoring where required could include regular hearing tests for those working in noisy environments, Lung function testing for employees who may work in dusty environments or with certain chemicals. Regular skin checks etc.

Find out our cost-effective solutions to reducing the risks of a work-related illness.

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What are the risks of a work-related illness?

The implications to a business of not managing the issue of potential workplace illness can be far reaching and costly not only to the business but also the affected employee.

For the employee this can mean ill health, life changing and life limiting conditions and illness and even death. The knock on effect of that to the employee is an inability to work and loss of earnings affecting them and their family.

The cost to employers who do not manage workplace risks are prosecution, fines, claims, possible closure of operations and the costs associated with all of these. The inability to find employees willing to work for the company. There is also the harm caused through any negative publicity.

What are the benefits of managing the risk of a work-related illness?

The benefits of managing potential risks are a safer workplace for all. A happier workforce who feel valued and protected. A healthier workforce with fewer employee sick days, and less risk of claims and prosecution.

How can SafeWorkforce support your business?

Our Health & Safety expert are here to help find solutions for your business to reduce the risks that could lead to work-related illnesses. If a problem occurs, they can take you through the necessary steps your business needs to take.

Our HR experts can also offer expert support on how to manage employees absences due to work-related illnesses.

Watch our webinar on reducing the risk of a work-related illness.