GENEVA (CBS Local) — Your job may be killing you. A new report from the United Nations says stress from work, excessive hours and occupational disease are responsible for nearly 2.8 million deaths every year.
Another 374 million people are either injured on the job or get sick because of their jobs, the report said.
The deaths are a result of new or existing occupational risks, including modern working practices, population growth, increased digital connectivity and climate change.
“The world of work has changed, we’re working differently, we’re working longer hours, we’re using more technology,” said Manal Azzi of the UN’s labor agency, the International Labor Organization. “The report says 36 percent of workers are working excessive long hours, meaning more than 48 hours per week.”
Women are particularly at risk because they tend to be the primary caregivers for families and have little time to rest or exercise.
“Not only do you work when you’re at your office but then you’re working at home as well,” said Azzi, “so it’s a lot of sedentary work and that affects cardiovascular diseases as well.”
The greatest proportion of work-related deaths (86 percent) come from disease, according to ILO, with some 6,500 people a day dying from occupational diseases, compared to 1,000 from fatal occupational accidents.
The greatest causes of mortality are circulatory diseases (31 percent), work-related cancers (26 percent) and respiratory diseases (17 percent).
“As well as the economic cost, we must recognize the immeasurable human suffering such illnesses and accidents cause,” Azzi said. “These are all-the-more tragic because they are largely preventable.”