Revised Data - Health Deaths

WorkSafe NZ new figures released

According to revised data, between 750 and 900 people die each year from ill health caused by exposure to hazards at work.

Figures released by WorkSafe, show 50% of these deaths are from cancers, of which 250 are from lung cancer, 90 mesothelioma due to asbestos exposure, and 25 breast cancer attributed to shift work.

The report estimated of the half of the deaths not caused by cancer, 200 arise from chronic obstructive pulmonary disease due to exposure to vapours, dust, gases and fumes, 80% due to ischaemic heart disease attributed to having low job control and exposure to second-hand smoke, and about 30% due to asbestiosis.

The figure for work-related health hospitalisations was also significantly revised due to major changes in ACC's analysis of claims.  5000-6000 hospitalisations each year are due to work-related health issues, a third due to cancer (20% non-melanoma skin cancer and 10% lung cancer).

The two-thirds of hospitalisations which are not cancer-related are estimated to be made up of 30% COPD, 15% heart disease, 5% asthma, 5% depressive episode, and 2% anxiety disorders.  (Safeguard)


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