Cancer Reported as the Leading Cause of Job Fatalities in the World

The International Labour Conference (ILO) in Geneva reported that cancer was the cause of 32% of the world wide job related deaths in the world.

Each year on 28 April, the ILO (International Labour Conference) promotes occupational safety and health across the globe as part of the World Day for Safety and Health at Work. Since 2003, when theILO began observing the day, this event has become one of global importance and is now marked in over 100 ILO member States.

For this year, the ILO SafeWork programme has chosen the theme “preventative safety and health culture”, with a focus on the construction industry and younger and older workers.

The ILO estimates that some 2.2 million women and men around the world succumb to work-related accidents or diseases every year. 

Worldwide, there are around 270 million occupational accidents and 160 million victims of work-related illnesses annually. 

A special ILO report, called “Prevention: A global strategy” has been prepared especially for the World Day on Safety and Health at Work. 

According to the ILO, deaths due to work-related accidents and illnesses represent 3.9 per cent of all deaths and 15 per cent of the world’s population suffers a mino or major occupational accident or work-related disease in any one year. A large number of the unemployed – up to 30 per cent – report that they suffer from an injury or disease dating from the time at which they were employed. 

The unemployed often cite impairment of their health as a hindrance to finding new employment. 

The Briefing Note highlights some of the major findings in the ILO’s latest statistical data on occupational accidents and diseases, and work-related deaths. 

These include the following: 

The number of fatal occupational accidents, especially in Asia and Latin America, is increasing. 

For example, between 1998 and 2001, fatal accidents at work rose from 73,500 a year to 90,500 in China, while there were nearly alf a million work-related deaths in 2001. 

In Latin America, fatal accidents moved from 29,500 per annum in 1998 to 39,500 in 2001. According to a new ILO analysis, rapid economic expansion lies behind these figures. · 

Diseases related to work cause the most deaths among workers. Haz dous substances alone are estimated to cause 438,489 deaths a year. · 

The construction industry has a disproportionately high rate of recorded accidents. · 

Younger and older workers are particularly vulnerable. The ageing population in developed countries means that an increasing number of older persons are working and need special consideration. 

The role of the ILO in occupational safety and health The ILO drafts and adopts international labour standards in the form of Conventions and Recommendations. 

More than 70 Conventions and Recommendations relate to questions of safety and health and more than 130 member States have ratified one particular Convention, the Labour Inspection Convention, 1947 (No.81), which is 1