The true burden (morbidity, mortality, disability, cost, pain, distress) of occupational and work-related diseases and injuries is unknown, and what is reported as burden is significantly underestimated. This underestimation affects the way decision-makers view investments in research and worker protection, which in turn has a substantial impact on national welfare and public health. To better describe the societal and individual burdens of occupational and work-related diseases and injuries, we propose an approach to gaugewhat is known about burden and where new assessments may be made. This approach consists of 4 elements to consider in burden assessments: (1) utilizing multiple domains, including the individual worker, the worker's family, the community in which the workplace is located, the employer, and society as a whole; (2) taking a broader view of the workrelatedness of disease and injury; (3) assessing the impact of the entire working-life continuum; and (4) applying the comprehensive concept of "well-being" as an indicator in addressing contemporary changes in the nature of work, the workplace, and the workforce. Further research on burden and enhanced surveillance is needed to develop these elements.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health