Thursday 19 July 2018

Worksite accidents 'cost EU $568bn per year'

SINGAPORE, September 5, 2017

Work-related accidents and injuries cost European Union about 3.3 per cent of its GDP which is equal to €476 billion ($568 billion) every year, revealed a new report presented at the World Congress on Safety and Health at Work held in Singapore.  

According to further findings, work-related illnesses account for 86 percent of all deaths related to work worldwide, and 98 per cent of those in the EU.

An estimated 123.3 million DALY (disability-adjusted life years) are lost globally, with 7.1 million in the EU alone, as a result of work-related injury and illness, said the report.

Of these, 67.8 million (3.4 million in the EU) are accounted for by fatalities and 55.5 million (3.7 million in the EU) by disability, it added.

Worldwide work-related injury and illness result in the loss of 3.9 per cent of GDP, at an annual cost of roughly €2,680 billion, according to new global estimates presented by the European Agency for Safety and Health at Work, EU-OSHA, together with the International Labour Organisation, ILO, at the Singapore event.

The estimates are findings from a major project on the costs and benefits of occupational safety and health, OSH.

The project was carried out by the ILO, the Finnish Ministry of Social Affairs and Health, the Finnish Institute of Occupational Health, FIOH, the WSH Institute in Singapore, the International Commission on Occupational Health, ICOH, and EU-OSHA.

Dr Christa Sedlatschek, the director of EU-OSHA, said: "Safe and healthy work is a fundamental human right but these new estimates of the costs of poor or non-existent OSH measures show that the economic case for OSH has never been stronger."

"Work-related ill-health and injury cost the European Union 3.3 percent of its GDP. That’s EUR476 billion every year, which could be saved with the right occupational safety and health strategies, policies and practices," noted Dr Sedlatschek.

According to her, good practice in OSH can help make businesses productive, competitive and sustainable, as well as reduce healthcare costs and other societal burdens.

"However, the costs of poor OSH are high for individuals, businesses and society. Through the costs and benefits project, EU-OSHA has taken steps to identify and evaluate the data that is available in the EU and worldwide to develop accurate and up-to-date estimates of the costs of work-related diseases and injuries," she explained.

In most European countries, work-related cancer accounts for the majority of costs (€119.5 billion or 0.81 per cent of the EU’s GDP), with musculoskeletal disorders being the second largest contributor.

Tags: Jobs | EU | Accidents | worksite |


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