Health, Safety & Environment Consultants

Sepsis. What is it and why should we be concerned in the workplace?


Sepsis is a life-threatening condition which kills 52,000 people each year in the UK.  Sepsis is a life-threatening illness caused by your body's response to an infection. Sepsis develops when the chemicals the immune system releases into the bloodstream to fight an infection cause inflammation throughout the entire body instead.

So why is sepsis a concern in the workplace? Due to the nature of sepsis it is indiscriminate and can affect anyone of any age. Due to it being the bodies response to fighting infection, sepsis is not just a risk for those who have received major injuries or surgeries, but also for anyone who has suffered an injury where infection could set in.

 The good news is sepsis is very treatable if caught early. So what are the signs of sepsis?

  • Slurred speech or confusion
  • Extreme shivering or muscle pain
  • Passing no urine (in a day)
  • Severe breathlessness
  • It feels like you’re going to die.
  • Skin mottled or discoloured.

These symptoms can often be mistaken for other illnesses. So next time you come across an illness in your office where an individual may be displaying some of the signs or symptoms of sepsis, contact a GP or hospital and ask, “could this be sepsis?”.

More information on sepsis can be found at and

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