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ILO Report: Annually 22.8 million Work Suffer Occupational Injuries, 18,970 Die Due to Excessive Heat

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22.8 million work suffer occupational injuriesAccording to the International Labour Organisation(ILO)’s report titled Ensuring safety and health at work in a changing climate, annually 22.85 million occupational injuries, 18,970 deaths and 2.09 million disability-adjusted life years (DALYs) are reported due to excessive heat.

Key findings:

i.The report stated that large numbers of workers in hot rural regions of Americas, Africa, the Middle East and India, are suffering from irreversible kidney failure.

  • Epidemics of chronic kidney disease of unknown aetiology (CKDu) are affecting large numbers of workers conducting heavy manual labour in hot temperatures.
  • In 2020, an estimated 26.2 million people were living with chronic kidney disease due to exposure to excessive heat at workplace.

ii.The report estimates that over 70% of all workers (~2.41 billion workers) are exposed to excessive heat.  The exposure to excessive heat has increased by 34.7% from 2000 to 2020.

Impact of climate change on workers health globally:

The report highlighted various health conditions in workers that have been linked to climate change such as: cancer, cardio-vascular disease, respiratory illness, kidney dysfunction, mental health conditions, among others.

i.Annually around 1.6 billion workers are exposed to solar Ultraviolet(UV) radiation, with more than 18,960 work-related deaths annually from non-melanoma skin cancer.

ii.Over 1.6 billion outdoor workers are continuously exposed to outdoor air pollution.

iii.Annually, more than 3 lakh worked die due to pesticide poisoning and around 15,170 workers die due to exposure to parasitic and vector-borne disease.

Key Points:

i.The report cautioned that climate change can induce negative impact on employment such as: job losses, damage to business assets, decreased labour productivity and forced migration.

ii.At present, around 1.2 billion jobs rely directly on the effective management and sustainability of a healthy environment, in particular jobs in farming, fishing and forestry

iii.The report suggested that nations need to frame and adopt climate-change- specific Occupational Safety and Health(OSH) policies and integrate them with public health campaign.

About International Labour Organisation (ILO):
Director-General- Gilbert Houngbo
Headquarter- Geneva, Switzerland
Member nations- 187
Established- 1919