A Comparative Study of Inspection Regimes in Times of Change
Chapter 1: Introduction: Inspecting Health and Safety Management and the Consequences of Restructuring in the Modern World of Work
INTRODUCTION According to ILO ﬁgures,1 despite advances in occupational medicine and safety technology, the global burden of work-related mortality, injury and disease remains huge – and far in excess of that arising from more publicized causes of harm, such as armed conﬂicts. The ILO estimates, for example, that some 2.2 million workers die every year as a result of work-related ill-health and injury. Of these, 350,000 deaths are attributable to accidents at work, while the rest are caused by occupational ill-health. It further estimates that there are an additional 264 million non-fatal accidents each year and 160 million people with work-related illnesses. It calculates the economic cost of this loss as worth 4 per cent of global GDP or $1.25 trillion US dollars (Hämäläinen et al. 2005). It also acknowledges that the vast majority of these deaths are avoidable and preventable. Most of this work-related death, illness and injury occurs in developing and newly industrializing countries, but the ﬁgures also provide no cause for complacency among the more advanced economies. For example, in the UK, despite its more than 200 hundred years of regulation on health and safety at work, and with one of the better records internationally, there are still over 200 deaths each year from ill-health or injuries related to work. In addition, more than 20,000 people leave employment as a result of workrelated injury or illness, and more than two million suffer from ill-health, which in their view was caused or...