11/07/2006

Asian specialists agree: Occupational diseases on the increase

Economic growth in Asia and the Pacific is bringing an unwelcome growth in
respiratory diseases originating in the workplace. This was the consensus among
specialists from across the region brought together by the International Social
Security Association (ISSA) for a seminar on an issue that should be of concern
to everyone in the world of work.

Worldwide challenge

Every year, hundreds of thousands of people suffer from occupationally acquired
diseases. The growth in numbers is a challenge for social security and accident
insurance schemes throughout the world. As participants acknowledged,
respiratory diseases are among the most common types of work-related illness.
Dust, fumes, smoke, gases, vapours and mists are frequent causes. The most
lethal of all, however ­ and still shockingly prevalent ­ is asbestos.

Participants agreed that occupational diseases, including respiratory diseases,
are preventable if adequate and timely measures are put in place and joint
efforts are undertaken by the different players involved. But reasons for poor
reporting and follow-up of occupational diseases include weak enforcement in
supervising employers' compliance in the regular health check requirement for
their workers; and employers' and workers' insufficient awareness of the
serious adverse social consequences of occupational diseases.

More information


AplusA-online.de - Source: European Agency for Safety and Health at Work