09/05/2017

Work-related accidents and injuries cost EU €476 billion a year according to new global estimates

The European Agency for Safety and Health at Work (EU-OSHA) together with the
International Labour Organization present new estimates of the cost of poor
occupational safety and health (OSH). The new findings reveal that worldwide
work-related injury and illness result in the loss of 3.9 % of GDP, at an
annual cost of roughly €2 680 billion [1].

Work-related ill-health and injury is costing the European Union 3.3 % of its
GDP. That's €476 billion every year which could be saved with the right
occupational safety and health strategies, policies and practices.

The estimates are findings from a major project on the costs and benefits of
OSH.The project was carried out by the International Labour Organization (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.

The Director of EU-OSHA, Dr Christa Sedlatschek, 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 is costing the European Union 3.3
% of its GDP. That's €476 billion every year which could be saved with the
right occupational safety and health strategies, policies and practices.'

Good practice in OSH can help make businesses productive, competitive and
sustainable, as well as reducing healthcare costs and other societal burdens.
But the costs of poor OSH are high - for individuals, business 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.

Further findings to be presented at the World Congress include:
- Work-related illnesses account for 86 % of all deaths related to work
worldwide, and 98 % of those in the EU.
- 123.3 million DALY (disability-adjusted life years) are lost globally (7.1
million in the EU) as a result of work-related injury and illness. 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.
- In most European countries, work-related cancer accounts for the majority of
costs (€119.5 billion or 0.81% of the EU's GDP), with musculoskeletal disorders
being the second largest contributor.

A new data visualisation tool, developed by EU-OSHA as part of the project, is
also unveiled at the World Congress. It shows the global costs of work-related
illnesses and accidents in an accessible way. Key results are presented as
infographics, allowing researchers and policy-makers to explore the findings
quickly and easily. With transparency and ease of use in mind, the
visualisation tool also provides a glossary of frequently used terms, and a
guide to the methods used.

[1] For the conversion from USD to EUR the ECB euro reference exchange rate for
2016 was used.

To the new data visualisation tool


AplusA-online.de - Source: European Agency for Safety and Health at Work (EU-OSHA)