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Work-related deaths in England and Wales have almost halved in 20 years, study finds

Date:
July 19, 2010
Source:
BMJ-British Medical Journal
Summary:
Deaths in England and Wales from injuries and diseases caused by work have almost halved in 20 years, indicates new research.

Deaths in England and Wales from injuries and diseases caused by work have almost halved in 20 years, indicates research published online in Occupational and Environmental Medicine.

But there are still some jobs, such as being a publican, a coal miner, or a pilot in which the chances of a work related death remain relatively high.

The researchers analysed information on occupation and cause of death from the death certificates of some 2.7 million men aged 20-74 who died between 1979 and 2000.

The calculated annual excess of deaths attributable to occupation fell from 733 during 1979-90 to 471 during 1991-2000.

The main contributors to these excess deaths were lung disease in coal miners, mesothelioma from exposure to asbestos, and road traffic accidents in lorry drivers.

Although deaths from most hazards declined, there was no reduction in excess mortality from asbestos or from cancer of the nose and sinuses among woodworkers.

Between 1991 and 2000, the 'riskiest' jobs were publicans and bar workers -- from cirrhosis and other diseases caused by alcohol; coal miners -- from chronic bronchitis and emphysema, pneumoconiosis and injuries; and pilots -- from air transport accidents.

In each of these occupations more than 4% of all deaths between the ages of 20 and 74 were attributable to work.

The overall substantial fall in work related deaths is likely to reflect a combination of safer working conditions and lower rates of employment in more hazardous jobs, conclude the authors.

"However, several hazards remain problematic, and are a priority for further preventive action. These include diseases caused by asbestos, sino-nasal cancer in woodworkers, and motor vehicle accidents in lorry drivers," they add.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by BMJ-British Medical Journal. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. D. Coggon, E. C. Harris, T. Brown, S. Rice, K. T. Palmer. Work-related mortality in England and Wales, 1979-2000. Occupational and Environmental Medicine, 2010; DOI: 10.1136/oem.2009.052670

Cite This Page:

BMJ-British Medical Journal. "Work-related deaths in England and Wales have almost halved in 20 years, study finds." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 19 July 2010. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/07/100719205638.htm>.
BMJ-British Medical Journal. (2010, July 19). Work-related deaths in England and Wales have almost halved in 20 years, study finds. ScienceDaily. Retrieved September 2, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/07/100719205638.htm
BMJ-British Medical Journal. "Work-related deaths in England and Wales have almost halved in 20 years, study finds." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/07/100719205638.htm (accessed September 2, 2014).

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