Every year, almost 2 million people die because of work related reasons, including form illnesses related to working long hours and from air pollution, showed a recent report published by United Nations agencies.
In 2016, 1.9 million people all across the world died because of work related diseases and injuries, found a study conducted by the World Health Organization and International Labour Organization, which is also the first assessment of its kind.
“It’s shocking to see so many people literally being killed by their jobs,” said Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, WHO director-general.
He added that the report would be a “wake-up call”, he hoped.
The study was conducted primarily over 19 occupational risk factors including long working hours as well as other work related hazards such as exposure of workers to air pollution, asthmagens, carcinogens and noise.
The study said that the number of work related death that occurred in the consideration year in Southeast Asia and the Western Pacific was disproportionately high while males over 54 years of age were more susceptible to work related deaths.
This study follows up on a previous WHO study that found that approximately 745,000 people a year were being killed from strokes and heart disease which occurred because of long working hours.
Exposure of workers to air pollution such as gases and fumes, as well as exposure to tiny particles associated with industrial emissions was another big workplace killer, found the broader report which was published on Friday.
The report found that about 450,000 deaths were caused by air pollution while 360,000 people were killed by workplace injuries in 2016.
The report however also pointed out to a drop of 14 per cent in the number of work related deaths relative to population between 2000 and 2016. It added that this metric also could reflect improvements in health and safety at the workplace.
However the report also noted that the burden of disease case because of working conditions was probably “substantially larger” that is generally estimated.
The report does not currently include other deaths including those from rising heat associated with climate change, as well as the deaths from communicable diseases such as Covid-19, said Frank Pega, WHO technical officer.
(Adapted from MoneyContyrol.com)