International Labour Organization World Statistics

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by The International Labour Organization

The enormous burden of poor working conditions

The ILO estimates that some 2.3 million women and men around the world succumb to work-related accidents or diseases every year; this corresponds to over 6000 deaths every single day. Worldwide, there are around 340 million occupational accidents and 160 million victims of work-related illnesses annually. The ILO updates these estimates at intervals, and the updates indicate an increase of accidents and ill health.


The estimated fatal occupational accidents in the CIS countries is over 11,000 cases, compared to the 5,850 reported cases (information lacking from 2 countries). The gross underreporting of occupational accidents and diseases, including fatal accidents, is giving a false picture of the scope of the problem.

Some of the major findings in the ILO’s latest statistical data on occupational accidents and diseases, and work-related deaths on a world-wide level include the following:

  • Diseases related to work cause the most deaths among workers. Hazardous substances alone are estimated to cause 651,279 deaths a year.
  • The construction industry has a disproportionately high rate of recorded accidents.
  • Younger and older workers are particularly vulnerable. The ageing population in developed countries means that an increasing number of older persons are working and need special consideration.