Worldwide, occupational diseases continue to be the leading cause of work-related deaths. According to ILO estimates, out of 2.34 million occupational fatalities every year, only 321,000 are due to accidents. The remaining 2.02 million deaths are caused by various types of work-related diseases, which correspond to a daily average of more than 5,500 deaths. This is an unacceptable Decent Work deficit.
The inadequate prevention of occupational diseases has profound negative effects not only on workers and their families but also on society at large due to the tremendous costs that it generates; particularly, in terms of loss of productivity and burdening of social security systems.
Prevention is more effective and less costly than treatment and rehabilitation. All countries can take concrete steps now to improve their capacity for preventing occupational diseases.
As every year, the ILO Programme on Safety and Health at Work and the Environment has prepared a report
which calls on governments, employers, workers and their organizations to collaborate in the development and implementation of national policies and strategies aimed at preventing occupational and work-related diseases.
Beating the Dust Disease in ThailandIn Thailand, an estimated 200,000 workers are at risk of developing pneumoconiosis. With the help of the ILO, the Thai Ministry of Health has increased the number of skilled doctors to treat and support workers diagnosed with the occupational lung disease, making Thailand a leader among developing economies.
|Health and safety at work: Facts and figures|
This means that:
- 2.02 million people die each year from work-related diseases.
- 321,000 people die each year from occupational accidents.
- 160 million non-fatal work-related diseases per year.
- 317 million non –fatal occupational accidents per year.
Deaths and injuries take a particularly heavy toll in developing countries, where a large part of the population is engaged in hazardous activities, such as agriculture, construction, fishing and mining.
- Every 15 seconds, a worker dies from a work-related accident or disease.
- Every 15 seconds, 151 workers have a work-related accident.