The estimates were presented for the start of the XXI World Congress on Safety and Health at Work, held in Singapore from 3‑6 September.
In further findings; work-related illnesses accounted for 86 % of all deaths related to work worldwide, and 98 % of those in the EU. In most European countries, work-related cancer accounts for the majority of costs (€119.5 billion or 0.81% of the EU’s GDP), with musculoskeletal disorders being the second largest contributor.
Research was conducted by the International Labour Organization and European Agency for Safety and Health at Work (EU-OSHA) as part of a project to calculate the cost of poor occupational safety and health (OSH).
Director of EU-OSHA, Dr Christa Sedlatschek, commented: "Safe and healthy work is a fundamental human right but these new estimates of the costs of poor or non-existent OSH measures show that the economic case for OSH has never been stronger.
Work-related ill-health and injury is costing the European Union 3.3 % of its GDP. That’s €476 billion every year which could be saved with the right occupational safety and health strategies, policies and practices."
To see infographics created by EU-OSHA for the study, click here