Occupational accidents and diseases are posing an ever-increasing challenge to workers' compensation systems. The vast majority of all occupational claims are due to work-related diseases. By tackling occupational risk factors through prevention, early intervention or other pro-active measures, social security can offer a contribution to the individual and to society that goes beyond the traditional scope of paying out benefits. Compensation, prevention and rehabilitation are all important elements for addressing and insuring occupational risks.
Globally, there are 2.8 million work-related deaths, 374 million injuries and 160 million illnesses per year. The financial burden of compensation, health care and rehabilitation can amount to 4 per cent of annual global GDP for work injuries alone. Besides workers, employers and governments, social security institutions have an important role to play, because the costs related to work-related accidents or diseases are often covered by social security.
The ISSA Technical Commission on Insurance against Employment Accidents and Occupational Diseases supports ISSA member institutions in developing strategies and services related to occupational risks. This does not only include the prevention of occupational accidents and diseases but also the development of return to work and rehabilitation services. The digital possibilities to improve prevention and rehabilitation services, such as big data, sensor-technologies, or exoskeletons are another topical area of interest.
The ISSA Technical Commission on Insurance against Employment Accidents and Occupational Diseases works closely with the Special Commission on Prevention. It organises a Global Forum for Work Insurance, which is open to all ISSA members and is held every three years on the occasion of the World Congress on Safety and Health at Work.