Objectives This study aimed to review and assess the prevalence and incidence of occupational injuries in the Philippines.
Method Data collection were done from various agencies, namely, Bureau of Labour and Employment Statistics (BLES) of the Department of Labour and Employment (DOLE), Labour Force Survey of National Statistics Office, among others. Hospital-based surveys and newspaper reports were also sources of data for this study.
Results The review showed that about 358 000 fatal and 337 million non-fatal occupational accidents in the world, and 1.95 million deaths from work-related diseases. Occupational injuries in the Philippines showed 22 265 cases in 2003, and 47 235 cases in 2007. The manufacturing industries registered the highest number of cases Out of the reported cases of occupational injuries, 178 resulted in death in 2000, and 116 deaths in 2007. Injury occurred at 6 injury cases per 500 full-time workers, or 1 injury case for every 88 workers in 2000. In the following years, it declined to 4 cases per full-time worker in 2003, and 3 cases for every 88 workers in 2007. Based on hospital records, there was a total of 9521 injury cases reported for the first quarter of 2010 in 77 government and private hospitals in the country. The cause of injury mostly occurred on the road (44.4%), and work-related injuries were reported at 7.8%.
Conclusions The review of occupational injuries in the Philippines showed major trends in injuries, causes of injuries and rates and severity of injury. However, the data lack more specific and segregated information per industry and occupational grouping, as well as identification of risk factors associated with these injuries. Therefore, improvements in injury surveillance and documentation of injury cases as well as research into risk factors at work should be done. All these efforts should lend towards prevention strategies and guidelines on occupational injuries in the Philippines. Also, there is a need to have a standard nomenclature of occupational injuries, starting from the primary data sources (company clinics) which are the bases of the national data. It is suggested that data collection on occupational injuries be a national scale, and not merely randomised collection of data for small, medium and large industries.