As many as 5,000 people die every day as a result of work-related accidents or illnesses, the International Labour Organisation (ILO) has said.
The UN body said the global death toll from work-related incidents and disease was an estimated 2.2 million a year, 10% higher than three years ago.
While fatalities have fallen in industrialised nations, they are on the rise elsewhere particularly in Asia. The ILO estimated that 90,000 people lost their lives in China in 2001.
Concerted action is needed at national and international levels, the ILO said, to strengthen workplace safety regulations and to improve compliance by employers.
It said it was particularly concerned about the low level of reporting of workplace accidents by some countries, particularly developing nations.
The ILO stressed that some countries needed to introduce tougher laws governing workplace safety while enforcement must be beefed up.