Use of nanotechnology and restructuring of workplaces are greater threats to workers' health, the International Labour Organisation has said.
“In the wake of the crisis, let us act together to prevent a downward spiral in labour conditions and build recovery founded on safe work,” Juan Somavia, ILO director general, said in a statement.
In a report released Tuesday, the ILO estimates that by 2020, 20 percent of goods will be based on nanotechnology despite the fact that the impact of exposure to nanomaterials is not well understood.
The psychological effects of workplace restructuring makes it difficult “to achieve a healthy work-life balance,” the ILO director was quoted as saying by Xinhua.
According to the ILO, an estimated 6,300 people die every day as a result of work-related injuries or diseases, which adds up to more than 2.3 million deaths every year. In addition, 337 million workplace accidents occur annually, resulting in extended absences.
“The human cost of this daily tragedy is immeasurable. But the economic cost of working days lost, medical treatment and cash benefits paid out is estimated at 4 percent of global GDP each year. This exceeds the total value of the stimulus packages introduced in the face of the economic crisis,” ILO director said.
The report was released ahead of the ILO's 8th annual day for workplace health and safety observed worldwide.