Editorials

Diagnosing and managing occupational disease

BMJ 1995; 310 doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/bmj.310.6990.1282 (Published 20 May 1995) Cite this as: BMJ 1995;310:1282
  1. Anthony Seaton
  1. Professor of environmental and occupational medicine University Medical School, Aberdeen AB9 2ZD

    The prospects are not good for workers

    In 1990, a large sample of the British population was asked whether they had suffered from a work related injury or illness in the previous 12 months.1 In that year some 1.6 million people were estimated to have had accidents at work and 2.2 million to have had an illness attributed to or made worse by work. The net cost of this was calculated to be about pounds sterling5 billion to individuals and pounds sterling1.5 billion to employers. The total cost of all work related illness, injury, and other accidents was estimated to be pounds sterling6-pounds sterling12 billion—1-2% of the gross domestic product. Given the size of the problem, the mechanisms for managing work related illness in the United Kingdom are inadequate, and the prospects are getting worse.

    The labour force survey indicated that about 7% of consultations in general …

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