Safety by the Numbers (or How to Waste Trillions of Dollars) [Photo Gallery]

Aug. 28, 2014
According to the International Labor Organization, 2.3 million people worldwide die annually as a result of occupational illnesses and accidents at work. In addition, there are 860,000 injury-causing occupational accidents every day. The direct or indirect cost of occupational illness and accidents at work is estimated at $2.8 trillion (U.S.$) worldwide.

According to the International Labor Organization (ILO), 2.3 million people worldwide die annually as a result of occupational illnesses and accidents at work. In addition, there are 860,000 injury-causing occupational accidents every day. The direct or indirect cost of occupational illness and accidents at work is estimated at $US 2.8 trillion worldwide.

“These figures are unacceptable and yet these daily tragedies often fail to show up on the global radar,” says ILO Director-General Guy Ryder. “Clearly, there is still much to be done. Serious occupational accidents are, firstly, human tragedies but economies and society also pay a high price.”

Calling for “a culture of intolerance towards risks at work,” Ryder comments, "Ebola and the tragedies it is causing are in the daily headlines – which is right. But work-related deaths are not. So, the task ahead is to establish a permanent culture of consciousness."

Fatalities and injuries take a heavy toll in the United States as well: Nearly 3 billion workers are injured each year and the estimated cost to business of disabling worker injuries is $55.4 billion.

The human cost, of course, is incalculable.

“The challenge we face is a daunting one. Work claims more victims around the globe than does war: an estimated 2.3 million workers die every year from occupational accidents and diseases,” says Ryder. “Prevention is possible, it is necessary and it pays."

About the Author

Sandy Smith

Sandy Smith is the former content director of EHS Today, and is currently the EHSQ content & community lead at Intelex Technologies Inc. She has written about occupational safety and health and environmental issues since 1990.

Sponsored Recommendations

Free Webinar: ISO 45001 – A Commitment to Occupational Health, Safety & Personal Wellness

May 30, 2024
Secure a safer and more productive workplace using proven Management Systems ISO 45001 and ISO 45003.

ISO 45003 – Psychological Health and Safety at Work

May 30, 2024
ISO 45003 offers a comprehensive framework to expand your existing occupational health and safety program, helping you mitigate psychosocial risks and promote overall employee...

DH Pace, national door and dock provider, reduces TRIR and claims with EHS solution

May 29, 2024
Find out how DH Pace moved from paper/email/excel to an EHS platform, changing their culture. They reduced TRIR from 4.8 to 1.46 and improved their ability to bid on and win contracts...

Case Study: Improve TRIR from 4+ to 1 with EHS Solution and Safety Training

May 29, 2024
Safety training and EHS solutions improve TRIR for Complete Mechanical Services, leading to increased business. Moving incidents, training, and other EHS procedures into the digital...

Voice your opinion!

To join the conversation, and become an exclusive member of EHS Today, create an account today!