Author(s): Hmlinen P, Takala J, Saarela KL
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Abstract BACKGROUND: Work-related mortality is a relatively new concept which aims to widen occupational health and safety; to take into account not only recognized fatal occupational accidents and diseases but also other work-related deaths. Few countries in the world have a register for work-related diseases. METHODS: Estimates are calculated using baseline world mortality scenarios of all diseases for the year 2000 and attributable fractions made for work-related diseases in Finland, as adjusted. RESULTS: It is estimated that about 2 million work-related deaths take place annually. Men suffer two thirds of those deaths. The biggest groups of work-related diseases are cancers, circulatory diseases and communicable diseases. CONCLUSIONS: Information about work-related diseases is needed for prevention, as people in developed countries are working longer, and the age of retirement is being raised in many countries. As a result, workers are being exposed to different kinds of substances and working conditions for a longer time. In developing countries, work exposures may already start in infancy. Due to industrialization, workers in developing countries are facing new conditions with a lack of relevant knowledge and skills. With the help of information, nations can direct resources and skills for appropriate purposes such as regulatory measures on health and safety at work. (c) 2006 Wiley-Liss, Inc.
This article was published in Am J Ind Med
and referenced in Occupational Medicine & Health Affairs