A recently released report targets Asia for a high number of work related deaths and diseases.According to the report from the Asia Monitor Resource Centre (AMRC), a Solidarity Center partner, of the 2.2 million individuals who die each year all over the world as a result of work-related accidents or illness, 1.1 million are Asian.
The report, “Invisible Victims of Development: Workers Health and Safety in Asia,” looks to highlight the severity of the problem through detailed information from six Asian countries: China, India, Cambodia, the Philippines, Thailand and Indonesia.
Those concerned indicate that official data is lacking, adding that the very existence of hazardous work conditions is denied.
“Sick and injured workers in Asia remain invisible, as most countries in Asia do not adequately report work-related deaths, injuries and diseases,” commented AMRC Executive Director Sanjiv Pandita. “These victims are denied justice and dignity. Their deaths are the price that we as society have paid for the sake of development.”
The report was launched at a press conference recently in Hong Kong, where Pandita was the key speaker.
Also present were contributors to the report from China, India, Indonesia, the Philippines and Thailand. In addition, victims from China and India shared their stories, and two short films depicting the deplorable state of workplace safety and health in China and other Asian countries were shown.
Key report findings include:
- In Thailand, lowering of labor standards has led to low wages, long working hours and precarious work conditions.
- In the Philippines, the figures on occupational safety and health are available on an ad hoc basis once every four years, and there are no data available for the “in between” missing years.
- In India, there are discrepancies in the collected data by various agencies; for example, the number of fatal accidents ranges from 400 to 1,000 (an incredible figure in a country of 1 billion), depending on which agency is collecting the data.
- In Indonesia, there has not been a single case of occupational disease compensation.
- China accounts for nearly half the Asian work-related fatalities, due not only to its large workforce but also to a very high accident rate.
Many workers, especially migrant workers, are not acknowledged in official reports.
Author Michael B. Stack, CPA, Director of Operations, Amaxx Risk Solutions, Inc. is an expert in employer communication systems and part of the Amaxx team helping companies reduce their workers compensation costs by 20% to 50%. He is a writer, speaker, and website publisher. www.reduceyourworkerscomp.com. Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org.
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