NEARLY three million workers die yearly caused by work-related accidents and diseases, according to the International Labour Organization (ILO) report, “A Call for Safer and Healthier Working Environments.”
The data shows a total of 2.6 million workers have died due to work-related diseases—mostly circulatory diseases, malignant neoplasms, and respiratory diseases. Moreover, there are 330,000 cases of fatalities through accidents.
“The toll underscores the persistent challenges in safeguarding the health and safety of workers, globally,” said ILO in a statement.
The data also shows “unequally distributed” deaths, indicating “significantly” higher cases of fatalities among male workers compared to females.
In addition, the most hazardous sectors are in agriculture, construction, forestry and fishing, and manufacturing with 200,000 fatal injuries per year. This represents over 60 percent of all fatal occupational injuries.
According to ILO, the Asia and the Pacific region has the highest work-related mortality with 63 percent of the global total, but it is also because of the size of the region’s workforce.
To address the issues on work-related accidents and diseases, the ILO Governing Body has adopted the Global Strategy on Occupational Safety and Health for 2024-2030.
Among ILO’s strategy is primarily improving national Occupational Safety and Health (OSH) frameworks by enhancing governance, promoting reliable data, and building competency.
Then, ILO would strengthen coordination, partnerships and investment in OSH at “national and global levels.”
Lastly, ILO plans to enhance OSH management systems by “tailoring it to specific hazards, risks, sectors, and occupations,” and by also considering how working conditions affect the physical and mental health of workers.
“The goal is to promote, respect and progressively realize the fundamental right to a safe and healthy working environment worldwide, in line with the ILO’s dedication to social justice and the promotion of decent work,” ILO stated.