Remembering those who have died or suffer ill-health from workplace activities
Sheila Pantry OBE
April 28 2004 is the day when world-wide people will be remembering those who have lost their lives through workplace activities or who are suffering from ill health. Many events being held will commemorate the Day ...e.g. delegates attending the Canadian Industrial Accident Prevention Association conference www.iapa.ca, check the April FOCUS for details of the International Labour Office campaign.
Each year, an estimated two million women and men die as a result of occupational accidents and work-related diseases. Across the globe, there are some 270 million occupational accidents and 160 million occupational diseases each year. The ILO has never accepted the notion that injury and disease "go with the job". Prevention works.
The following figures show the scale of the problem that needs constant action:
- Four per cent of the world's gross domestic product (US$ 1,251,353 million) is lost with the cost of injury, death and disease through absence from work, sickness treatment, disability and survivor benefits.
- The loss in GDP resulting from the cost of death and illness in the workforce is 20 times greater than all official development assistance.
- Close to 355,000 people lose their lives on the job each year. Half these deaths occur in agriculture, the sector with half the world's workforce.
- Each year, 22,000 children are killed on the job.
- Hazardous substances kill 340,000 workers annually. Asbestos alone claims about 100,000 lives.
- Ten per cent of all skin cancers are estimated to be attributable to workplace exposure to hazardous substances.
- In the United States in 2002, approximately two million workers were victims of workplace violence. In the United Kingdom, 1.7% of working adults (357,000 workers) were the victim of one or more incidents of workplace violence.
Click onto the Diary of Events and you will see plans have been made already worldwide up to 2005 to have training courses, symposiums and conferences in many places in the world on a wide range of subjects.
Don't forget that on 10 and 11 November 2004 there will be a major conference EUROHSE 2004 held in London. Already bookings have been made. So do not wait until it is too late to get into this important event. The 2003 conference was deemed to be a great success by those attending. On 9 November 2004 the Food Safety in Europe 2004 conference will be held.
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And for those working in the Construction Industry Sector we hope you are planning to raise standards of OSH on your site during the European 2004 Year of Construction Safety.
Have a zero accident and incident-free year in 2004 in your workplace!