Work-related Accidents And Illness Kill Millions Annually, Report Says

Toll wipes 4% from GDP each year.

Work-related accidents and illnesses lead to the deaths of about 2.2 million people every year and cause huge cost to the global economy, the International Labour Organisation said Friday.

A report by the ILO calling for better health and safety practices in the workplace found that 270 million workers were injured while another 160 million suffered from work-related illnesses.

The toll wipes an estimated 4% from gross domestic product a year, equivalent to 20 times all official development aid put together, said the report.

"Accidents don't go with the job," Sameera Maziadi Al-Tuwaijri, director of the ILO's Safework program, said in a statement. "Experience shows that most accidents are preventable," he added, calling for a more consistent approach to prevention by governments, employers and workers at national level and inside companies.

Apart from better practices in the workplace, the report advocated formal reporting, inspections and standards. It underlined that proper measures could also improve productivity.

Copyright Agence France-Presse, 2007

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