Perpetrators are liable to fines and imprisonment. In addition, section 2(1) of the Disqualifications of Company Directors Act 1986 empowers the court to challenge a person convicted of an offence relating to the management of a business. This includes health and safety offences. This power is left to the discretion of the court; No further investigation or evidence is required. While virtually all workplaces carry some risk of injury, the level of risk varies considerably from workplace to sector, geographic region to geographic area, and person to person. Work-related injury rates have increased in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs), while they have decreased in high-income countries (HICs), although the effects of globalization have been mixed. The steady decline in Australia, North America and Western Europe is due, at least in part, to the export of labour-intensive and often more dangerous industrial production to regions with lower wages, less stringent workplace regulations and generally worse working conditions. In the advanced poor countries, however, the number of small businesses and jobs in the informal sector has increased significantly. These businesses and workplaces are underserved by occupational safety and health regulations and enforcement; are difficult to achieve with traditional occupational safety and health services; and present a higher, but largely hidden, risk of accidents and injuries.

Although the actual burden of occupational accidents in the PRE remains uncertain, an estimated 6.9 million occupational accidents occurred in the European Union (EU) in 2006 and 8.5 million in the United States in 2007 (Chau et al. 2014; Leigh and Marcin, 2012). Work-related injuries and fatalities claim even more lives in LMICs, where a large proportion of the population works in the informal sector or in high-risk sectors such as agriculture, construction, fishing and mining, with associated costs of up to 10% of GDP. This chapter deals with the many changes in the field of work and accidents in seven sections. After this introduction, the second section provides an overview of the current state of occupational accidents and safety in ERPs, focusing on recent developments and observations, and the third section focuses on the situation in LMICs, again focusing on recent developments. The fourth section examines the impact of global supply chains on global business practices. The fifth section discusses the economic impact of these changes and interventions to mitigate the issues raised, building as much as possible on the observations made in the previous sections. The sixth section provides a brief summary of the contributions that physical, chemical and biological exposures in the workplace can make to the development of acute and chronic diseases. A final section presents conclusions. Mechanical patient lifting devices have been shown to reduce nurses` back-pressure forces by approximately 60%, reduce the lifting required during patient transfers, and improve patient comfort perceptions (Garg & Owen, 1992; Zhuang et al., 2000). In collaboration with national and international researchers, the U.S. National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health conducted research on comprehensive guidelines for the safe handling of patients, which included the use of mechanical lifts and repositioning aids, a zero-lift policy, and staff training on the use of lifting devices.

This approach has been shown to be highly effective in reducing the risk of back injury among health workers of all ages and work experience, regardless of the type of facility (Collins et al., 2004). In addition, clinical applications and scientific studies have documented the effectiveness of blunt needles in reducing needlestick injuries, and several resources have been developed to disseminate this information to medical personnel (CDC 2010; NIOSH, 2007). Statistics on injuries and fatalities by industry suggest that women are at lower risk of workplace injuries (Lin, Chen and Luo, 2008, 2011). However, many of these reports do not take into account the different distribution of men and women in jobs or even tasks within jobs. There is evidence that women are at increased risk of acute injuries and musculoskeletal disorders, which control occupational and individual confounders (Taiwo et al., 2009; Tessier-Sherman et al., 2014). Qualitative research also suggests that male workers – in traditionally male- and female-dominated occupations – have more control over their work and often receive more safety training than their female counterparts (Kelsh & Sahl, 1996; Turgoose et al., 2006). In addition, research on gender differences in repetitive tasks suggests that identical tasks requiring force can be significantly more strenuous for women than for men (Nordander et al., 2008), which may increase the risk of musculoskeletal injuries and disorders in women. Failure to put in place appropriate health and safety procedures could result in serious injury or death. A work-related illness or injury can not only leave an employee unemployed for a period of time and affect their quality of life. It can also hurt your company`s productivity, finances, and reputation, which can be difficult to recover. Much has been learned about technical solutions to key safety issues, including fall protection, nail gun safety and overhead line contact protection. However, barriers to knowledge dissemination need to be overcome to facilitate broader hazard detection and implementation of available solutions (Committee to Review the NIOSH Construction Research Program, 2008).

Hazard awareness efforts on construction sites should target vulnerable work groups, including migrant workers, young workers and contract workers, who are at much higher risk of injury and death in this sector. One of the most important ways in which facilities management supports core business activities is to ensure that the organization remains compliant with the law. To emphasize the importance of this role, take a moment to think about the possible consequences if you do it wrong. A recent development in global supply chain regulation is the notion of corporate social responsibility. The focal company has a direct responsibility to protect the interests of the company by adhering to health and safety standards and professional equality throughout its supply chain. Many multinational companies such as Adidas, Apple, Gap, Nike and Walmart have defined criteria that their suppliers must meet, and then conducted factory audits as part of an annual report analyzing current working conditions in their supply chain (Apple, 2014; Burke, Scheuer & Meredith, 2007; 2012 variance; Verbeek and Ivanov, 2013; Yu, 2007). Little research has been done on the effectiveness of these initiatives (Ustailieva, Eeckelaery, & Nunes, 2012). The paradoxical demand for high OSH standards and low-cost labour creates conflicting incentives to record workplace accidents (Brown 2007). Although workers in wholesale and retail trade are generally perceived as workers at lower risk of injury than workers in other sectors, many commercial occupations are physically demanding, putting them at risk for back and upper limb disorders.

Given the large number of workers and the continued growth of this sector, various workplace hazards can pose a risk of injury to a significant number of workers. In addition, psychosocial and organizational factors may contribute to the burden of injury. Historically, little attention has been paid to the causes and potential responses to safety risks in this area, but it is one of eight areas for which a research agenda has been developed to address existing gaps (Anderson et al., 2010). The percentage of child labourers – a particular subset of informal workers – in LMICs ranges from 2.5% of children aged 7-14 in Costa Rica and India to 74% in Benin (World Bank 2014). The percentage of working children out of school also varies considerably, ranging from about 2% to 89%, but does not exceed 50% in most LMICs. The vast majority of child labourers work in agriculture. Others are employed in various industries – fishing, domestic work, mining and manufacturing, and construction – where adults are also employed, and some are soldiers in war zones. The problem of child labour is decreasing worldwide, but remains alarming in sub-Saharan Africa, where one in five children works (ILO 2013b).

Working children have a higher risk of injury and may suffer greater consequences because their bodies are still growing. Working children often emulate the dangerous behaviours of adults, lack adequate safety training, are at higher risk of exploitation, and endure long working hours and minimum wages, often in a context of deprivation (ILO 2011a). The elimination of child labour remains the ultimate international goal, but child labour in LMICs can be vital for family livelihoods and sometimes for their own education.