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):62-67    pdf

Global estimates of traditional occupational risks

by Takala J

Objectives Globalization has made many of the traditional occupational safety and health risks worse due to the large number of new worker generations that have been exposed to hazards that are well known and documented. This is, in particular, the case in developing countries and economies in transition. For a better picture for national and international decision making, globally available data sources were studied and analyzed.

Methods Employment figures, reported fatal accident rates, mortality data on different diseases and injuries, and attributable fractions identified in the literature for diseases shown to be related to work were used to analyze global occupational accident data and information available on work-related diseases covering most countries.

Results A midpoint of 2.2 million was estimated for fatalities occurring worldwide annually due to work-related factors. The most significant problems identified were work-related cancer (in particular, in industrialized countries), occupational accidents (rapidly industrializing countries), work-related cardiovascular diseases, work-related communicable diseases (tropical developing countries), and work-related lung diseases in countries where mining is a major activity (such as China, Vietnam, South Africa, and the like). In addition, 270 million nonfatal occupational accidents and 160 million work-related diseases were estimated to occur every year.

Conclusions While estimates can be gradually improved by adding new national information on exposures and exposed populations, these estimates can be a benchmark for such further work.