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: Sleep apnea during pregnancy is not good for mother or baby

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

More reasons why getting a good night's sleep is important

11 minutes ago

Not getting enough sleep not only makes our minds less alert, but our bodies too. Studies have suggested that losing several hours of sleep can slow the body's metabolism, but what about losing only a few hours? A team of ...

Should we tax unhealthy foods?

12 minutes ago

What does a 20-ounce bottle of soda cost? If you said 99 cents, you are only partly right. While that may be the price on the sticker at the store, it doesn't take into account the cost to public health. One study, for example, ...

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.