Nearly two million people died as a result accident at work or one occupational disease, the period 2000-2016, according to the first joint estimates of the World Health Organization (WHO) and the International Labor Organization (ILO) that saw the light of day today.
Consequently, these figures do not take into account the coronavirus pandemic which, according to a previous report by the UN, accelerated the trend to work more hours, which is the main risk for work-related deaths.
“No one should get sick or die doing their job,” said the two directors-general. Tentros Antanom Gebregesous and Guy Ryder, in the report covering the period during that period.
According to the EIA, the report records a disproportionate number of work-related deaths in workers from Southeast Asia and the western Pacific, as well as to men and in over 54 years.
“These nearly two million premature deaths can to be avoided. “Measures must be taken on the basis of available research in order to target the evolving nature of work-related health threats,” said the director of the Department of Environment, Climate Change and Health at the WHO.
UN: Occupational hazards
The report examines 19 factors occupational hazards, especially long working hours and workplace exposure to air pollution, asthma-causing materials, carcinogens, ergonomic risk factors and noise.
The main danger was many working hours: in 2016, approximately 750.000 people died, mainly from a stroke, due to working 55 hours a week, according to the WHO.
The report in atmospheric pollution (particles, gas and smoke) in the workplace has in turn led to 450.000 deaths.
THE main cause of death were the chronic obstructive pulmonary diseases which, according to the research, killed in 2016 about 450,000 people, strokes (400,000 deaths) and ischemic heart diseases (350,000 deaths).
Only the occupational accidents caused the deaths of 360,000 people a year, ie almost 20% of work-related deaths.
“It’s shocking to see so many people are killed literally from their work “, said in the announcement Dr. Tentros.
“Our report is one alarm signal to countries and businesses in order to improve and protect the health and safety of workers by honoring their commitments to provide universal coverage of occupational safety and health services, ”he added.
Work-related illnesses and injuries put health systems to the test, cause productivity to fall and can have a devastating effect on household incomes, the study said.
UN agencies are even more concerned about the fact that between 2000 and 2016 deaths due to heart disease and strokes associated with long working hours increased 41% and 19% respectively. These figures show, according to the report, a trend to increase this relatively new psychological risk factor.
The report notes, however, that the news is a little more joyful: globally, the number of work-related deaths per capita has fallen 14% from 2000 to 2016, while the world population grew.