SJWEH Supplements are open access, (mostly) non-peer-reviewed articles usually published in theme issues or as part of a series of papers from a conference or workshop. Scand J Work Environ Health stopped publishing SJWEH Supplements in 2009.


SJWEH Supplements 2005;(no 1):58-61    pdf

Contribution of occupational risk factors to the global burden of disease

by Fingerhut M, Driscoll T, Imel Nelson D, Concha-Barrientos M, Punnett L, Pruss-Ustin A, Steenland K, Leigh J, Corvalan C

The World Health Organization conducted a comparative risk assessment to ascertain the contributions of 26 risk factors to the global burden of disease. Five occupational risk factors accounted for an estimated 37% of back pain, 16% of hearing loss, 13% of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, 11% of asthma, 9% of lung cancer, 8% of injuries, and 2% of leukemia worldwide. Virtually all cases of silicosis, asbestosis, and coal workers’ pneumoconiosis were work-related. Contaminated sharps injuries accounted for 40% of hepatitis B, 40% of hepatitis C, and 4% of HIV/AIDS infections among health care workers. Data limitations, primarily in developing countries, prevented the inclusion of other major occupational risk factors. These selected occupational risks accounted for about 850 000 deaths and 24 million years of healthy life lost each year. The deaths due to these selected occupational risk factors constitute only 43% of the International Labour Organization’s estimate of 2 million deaths worldwide due to work-related risks.