Number of British lead workers under medical surveillance falls

Figures highlighted by the Health and Safety Executive show a reduction in the number of British people under medical surveillance for work with lead since 2002.

According to the medical surveillance data, women only account for a small proportion of the total under surveillance. Workers under the age of 18 also remains low.

A snapshot of key statistics, include:

  • Numbers under medical surveillance dropped by 47% from 7949 in 2011/12 to 4240 in 2012/13
  • Lead battery manufacturing persists as the sector with the highest number of males under surveillance
  • Substantial reductions in the number of males under surveillance in an array of sectors including the smelting, refining, alloying and casting industries
  • Three males had blood-lead levels of 60µg/100ml or above in 2012/13. This contrasts with 142 males in 2002/03
  • There was a large increase in the number of females in the potteries, glazes and transfers sector – a contrast with previous years which had low numbers under surveillance
  • Four females had blood-lead levels of 30µg/100ml or above in 2012/13. This compares with 18 females in 2002/03
  • There were eight suspensions, including four males and four females, as a result of excess blood-lead levels in workers under surveillance in 2012/13

Total number of British lead workers under medical surveillance since 2002/03:

Related reading:
Contact us

Let’s get
learning together!

0331 6300 626

Lines open Monday to Friday, 9am to 5pm, GMT

Karon Reynolds

Prefer to talk by email?

Contact us by email

Send a message to
or fill in the form and a member of our safety team is standing by to help.

- John Reynolds