• International Workplace
  • 6 September 2017

New research: 742,000 deaths from work-related cancers

Around 742,000 people across the world die annually from cancer linked to work activities, according to research published this week. That estimate represents nearly double the number of deaths from workplace accidents.

The new research was carried out by the International Labour Organization, ministries in Finland and Singapore, the Workplace Safety and Health Institute in Singapore, the Finnish Institute of Occupational Health, the International Commission on Occupational Health and the European Occupational Safety and Health Agency.

It was previously estimated that 666,000 people die every year from work-related cancer. The new figure is based on better available data gathered and analysed by the research consortium. They found that 2.78 million work-related deaths occur every year worldwide. Over 380,000 are fatal accidents, with 2.4 million the result of occupational diseases, including cancer.

IOSH launched its own No Time to Lose campaign in November 2014, and since then more than 100 organisations have made a pledge to reduce worker exposure to carcinogens.

Graham Parker, President of IOSH, said:

“The findings from this new research are truly shocking. It shows that 742,000 families are having to come to terms with the loss of a loved one through cancer caused by something they were exposed to at work.

“What makes it even more shocking is the fact that these deaths are preventable. By protecting workers from exposure to carcinogens, we can stop people from dying from this awful disease."

No Time to Lose offers businesses free practical, original materials which can help them deliver effective prevention programmes.