According to the latest statistics released by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE), over a million people are suffering from an illness as a direct result of their work, costing the UK economy an estimated £14.3 billion every year.

Britain has some of the strictest health and safety legislation in the world, and is officially one of the safest places to work in Europe.

However, the statistics reveal that, in 2014/15, approximately 27.3 million working days were lost due to ill health or injury from work.

During the same period, 142 workers were killed, and 611,000 injuries were sustained in the workplace.

Out of the 1.2 million people said to be living with a work related illness, 516,000 were new cases.

Chair of HSE, Judith Hackitt, said: “It’s encouraging that there have been improvements in injuries and ill health caused by work related activities.

“But behind the statistics are people, their families, friends, work colleagues, directly affected by something that’s gone wrong, that is usually entirely preventable. Nobody should lose their life or become ill simply from doing their job.

“These figures show that despite the great strides and improvements made over the last 40 years since Britain’s health and safety regime was established, there is still more that can be done.”

In 2014/15, 16 people died as a result of workplace incidents in the manufacturing sector, but 70,000 non-fatal injuries were reported by the affected individuals rather than their employers.

Three per cent of workers across all industries are believed to suffer a work-related illness every year in the UK, while two per cent gain an injury through their employment activities.