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Better managing of risks can reduce workrelated accidents says UN agency

In a new report published on the occasion of the World Day for Safety and Health at Work, observed on 28 April, the International Labour Organization (ILO) outlined management techniques that identify, anticipate and assess hazards and risks and take action to control and reduce them. “Millions of work related accidents, injury and disease annually take their toll on human lives, businesses, the economy and the environment,” noted ILO Director-General Juan Somavia. “We know that by assessing risks and hazards, combating them at source and promoting a culture of prevention we can significantly reduce workplace illness and injuries,” he added.According to the ILO, 2.2 million people die annually from work-related accidents and diseases and work-related deaths appear to be on the rise. In addition, every year some 270 million people suffer non-fatal, work-related accidents resulting in at least three days absence from work and an additional 160 million new people suffer from some work-related illness.“There is clear evidence that healthy workforces both enhance business productivity and benefit enterprises and national economies by reducing the number of accidents and diseases and lowering the number of insurance and compensation claims,” said Dr. Sameera Al-Tuwaijri, Director of ILO’s Safework Department.In addition to the publication of the report, entitled “My life, my work, my safe work: Managing risk in the work environment,” a number of events and activities are planned around the world to mark the Day, from a street campaign on occupational safety and health in Moscow to an international book fair in Buenos Aires to promote the importance of health and safety in the world of work. 24 April 2008The United Nations labour agency is calling for better managing risks in the workplace in an effort to reduce the over two million deaths each year resulting from work-related accidents and ill health. read more