Nearly two million deaths each year because of poor working conditions

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Poor working conditions cost the lives of 1.9 million people a year, according to a UN study. Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), strokes and heart disease are the main causes of premature death for about 1.2 million men and women, it said. Workplace accidents caused about 360,000 deaths. The study, unveiled Friday, was prepared by the World Health Organization (WHO) and the International Labor Organization (ILO).

As the WHO also reported in May, overwork is a particularly large and rising risk factor. Working too many hours was linked to about 750,000 deaths, according to the UN study. The figures evaluated were for 2016, and experts warned that the Corona crisis could make the situation worse. Air pollutants such as particulate matter, gases and fumes were responsible for 450,000 deaths, according to the experts.

Workers in Southeast Asia and the Western Pacific, men and people over the age of 54 were disproportionately affected by occupational deaths. “It is shocking that so many people are literally being killed by their jobs,” said WHO chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus.

However, WHO also reported a positive trend, with occupational deaths worldwide falling 14 percent as a percentage of the population between 2000 and 2016. This could be attributed to improvements in occupational health and safety.

  • source: k.at/picture:pixabay.com
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