Often, however, only those accidents serious enough to require more than first-aid treatment and absence from work, prolonged invalidity or death are included in statistics (if published), so that their true occurrence is significantly higher. The extent of industrial accidents and injuries varies widely over countries, industries and time periods, as also do the legislative provisions for the regulation of industrial processes and the installation of safety devices.
Globally, about 180 severe industrial accidents have occurred in different countries over the last two decades killing some 8,000 people, injuring over 20,000 and displacing hundreds of thousands. Accidents in crowded cities in the developing world, such as those in Mexico City and Bhopal, India, in 1984, have caused the most casualties. Such disasters are becoming more frequent. The rate of fatal accidents in the developing countries has doubled or even trebled, whilst in the USA the frequency rate for disabling injuries increased 81% from 1961 to 1976.
The location of industries and the environmental/human impacts of small-scale industries and the new technologies are receiving growing attention.
This strategy features in the framework of Agenda 21 as formulated at UNCED (Rio de Janeiro, 1992), now coordinated by the United Nations Commission on Sustainable Development and implemented through national and local authorities. Agenda 21 recommends support for the development of systems to monitor the incidence and cause of injury leading to well-targeted intervention/prevention strategies.
Improving the health of workers has led the ILO and WHO to cooperate closely on occupational safety and health issues. WHO helps countries to implement preventive strategies with a network of 70 Collaborating Centres, based on its [Global Strategy on Occupation Health for All].
ILO published a manual on major hazard control in 1988 and a [Code of Practice on the Prevention of Major Industrial Accidents] in 1991. The [ILO Convention and Recommendation on the Prevention of Major Industrial Accidents] were adopted in 1993.
2. Labour protection improves productivity.