In Canada, provinces have made progress in reducing the number of injuries in the workplace . However, the overall number of work-related deaths remains unacceptably high because deaths due to work-related disease have increased steadily over the past three decades. Despite this increase, recognizing and preventing work-related disease continues to present significant challenges, and requires different (and sometimes unique) approaches from those that target injuries – although, at the core, the elimination or reduction of hazardous exposures and the control of risks are fundamental. Occupational diseases are frequently not recognized as being related to workplace exposures, particularly because, for many diseases, the exposure which contributed to their development occurred many years ago. As well, occupational diseases often result from repeated exposures to invisible harmful agents rather than a single event. The development of prevention strategies for specific diseases and exposures is critical to reducing the number of worker deaths in Canada.

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