International Commission on Occupational Health

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Meeting: 
Seventy-second World Health Assembly (A72/1)
Agenda Item: 
11.6 Health, environment and climate change
Statement: 

According to ILO and ICOH every year 2.78 million workers die from occupational accidents and work-related diseases of which 2.4 million are disease-related) and 374 million workers suffer from non-fatal occupational accidents. These and work-related non-fatal diseases together make an estimated annual 123 million Disability Adjusted Life Years (DALYs), a loss equivalent to 3.95% of the Global GDP (2016). According to WHO and ICOH data less than 10-15 % of workers globally have access to Occupational Health Services. Climate change is as new challenge for workers particualarly in Low and medium income countries.
Therefore, at the International Commission on Occupational Health, we are pleased to see that the health of workers and the workplace are well integrated into the WHO global strategy on health environment and climate change. This will allow for occupational health and environmental health to act in synergy to make workplaces healthier, safer and cleaner - in enterprises, agriculture and services
As a founding member of the Global Occupational Safety and Health Coalition, co-chaired by WHO and ILO, we will be happy to contribute to practical ideas, advocacy and capacity building for the implementation of the WHO global strategy in the 93 countries where we have members and member institutions, including small island states.
In particular, we pledge our full support for extending to all workers at least basic occupational health services for the prevention of occupational and work-related diseases and injuries. We will be pleased to work with WHO and ILO to strengthen the primary prevention of health risks at work and to address the health effects on climate change and environmental exposures at the workplace.