ILO calls for urgent global action to fight occupational diseases

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Community health workers in Senegal

There has been a call for an "urgent and vigorous" global campaign to tackle the growing number of work-related diseases, which claim an estimated two million lives per year.

The International Labour Organization, (ILO), said that despite the fact that occupational diseases kill six times as many people, accidents attract greater attention.

ILO Director-General Guy Ryder in a statement for the World Day for Safety and Health at Work, said prevention is the key to tackling the burden of occupational diseases, and is more effective and less costly than treatment and rehabilitation.

“Occupational diseases impoverish workers and their families and may undermine whole communities when they lose their most productive workers. Meanwhile, the productivity of enterprises is reduced and the financial burden on the State increases as the cost of health care rises. Where social protection is weak or absent, many workers as well as their families, lack the care and support they need.”

Duration:  27″

Ryder said the ILO was calling for a "paradigm of prevention with comprehensive and coherent action targeting occupational diseases, not only injuries."

The ILO observes World Day for Safety and Health at Work on Sunday 28 April, 2013.

Donn Bobb, United Nations

Duration:  1’18″

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