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Am J Ind Med. 2007 Jan;50(1):28-41.

Global estimates of fatal work-related diseases.

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Tampere University of Technology, Institute of Occupational Safety Engineering, Tampere, Finland.



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.


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.


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.


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.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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