Work related deaths have almost halved in 20 years

Jul 19, 2010

Deaths in England and Wales from injuries and diseases caused by work have almost halved in 20 years, indicates research published online in Occupational and Environmental Medicine.

But there are still some jobs, such as being a publican, a coal miner, or a pilot in which the chances of a work related death remain relatively high.

The researchers analysed information on occupation and cause of death from the death certificates of some 2.7 million men aged 20-74 who died between 1979 and 2000.

The calculated annual excess of deaths attributable to occupation fell from 733 during 1979-90 to 471 during 1991-2000.

The main contributors to these excess deaths were lung disease in coal miners, mesothelioma from exposure to asbestos, and road traffic accidents in lorry drivers.

Although deaths from most hazards declined, there was no reduction in excess mortality from asbestos or from cancer of the nose and sinuses among woodworkers.

Between 1991 and 2000, the 'riskiest' jobs were publicans and bar workers—from cirrhosis and other diseases caused by alcohol; coal miners—from and emphysema, pneumoconiosis and injuries; and pilots—from air transport accidents.

In each of these occupations more than 4% of all deaths between the ages of 20 and 74 were attributable to work.

The overall substantial fall in work related deaths is likely to reflect a combination of safer working conditions and lower rates of employment in more hazardous jobs, conclude the authors.

"However, several hazards remain problematic, and are a priority for further preventive action. These include diseases caused by asbestos, sino-nasal cancer in woodworkers, and in lorry drivers," they add.

Explore further: MA health reform did not lower preventable hospitalizations or reduce racial disparities

Related Stories

Death rates will rise because of global warming

Jul 02, 2007

Global warming will cause more deaths in summer because of higher temperatures but these will not be offset by fewer deaths in milder winters finds an analysis published online ahead of print in Occupational and Environment Me ...

Recommended for you

Soldiers cite 'Medic!' as a top hearing priority

6 hours ago

'Medic!', 'Hold fire!' and grid references are amongst the highest priorities for soldiers to be able to hear while on duty, according to new research from the University of Southampton.

New measures identified for newborn care in Uganda

7 hours ago

In Uganda, child mortality rates are improving, but progress is slower for deaths occurring in the first four weeks of life, or the newborn period, and for stillbirths. But recent evidence from local researchers ...

Should men cut back on their soy intake?

9 hours ago

Recently, a friend called my husband to inquire about the risks for men in consuming too much soy milk. He had read an article that described how one individual's plight led him down the path of breast enlargement, and was ...

User comments : 0

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.