Workers' health in Israel

Silvia Koton, Anneke Ifrah, Yehuda Lerman, Joseph Ribak, Manfred Green

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: Occupational hazards are important causes of morbidity, mortality, and disability in the community. This article presents a review of workers' health in Israel. Methods: Data were collated from the Occupational Health Institute of the University of Tel Aviv, the National Insurance Institute, the Occupational Health Departments of the General Sick Fund, and the Institute of Safety and Hygiene of the Ministry of Labor and Welfare. International comparisons are based on data derived from the WHO Health for All database for the European region. Results: Levels of most biological and chemical exposures in 1996 were found to be in accordance with the standards, except for dust, gases, pesticides, and noise exposure. In 1996, 4.3% of the working population received injury compensation from the National Insurance Institute. 78% of workers' claims approved in 1992-1994 were for injuries to the back and spine. 93% of new cases of occupational diseases and injuries reported in 1996 by the occupational health service of the largest Health Fund were due to noise-induced hearing impairments. In 1996, there were 87 reported deaths following work accidents; about 50% of them were falls that occurred in the construction industry, and 26% of fatalities were among foreign workers. Rates of work accidents, average days of incapacity per accident, and fatalities have been increasing since 1991. Rates of occupational accidents and of occupational fatalities are higher than the European Community average. Conclusions: Rates of occupational diseases and of injury compensation among workers are increasing, despite the efforts and resources invested in the prevention of work accidents and the promotion of workers' health. These findings indicate the necessity for further research and efforts toward the prevention of injuries and the promotion of occupational health in Israel.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)189-203
Number of pages15
JournalPublic Health Reviews
Issue number2
StatePublished - 1998
Externally publishedYes


  • Israel
  • Occupational health
  • Work injuries
  • Workers' health

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Community and Home Care
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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