Occupational disease

Occupational disease
Occupational disease
Classification and external resources
MeSH D009784

An occupational disease is any chronic ailment that occurs as a result of work or occupational activity. It is an aspect of occupational safety and health. An occupational disease is typically identified when it is shown that it is more prevalent in a given body of workers than in the general population, or in other worker populations. Occupational hazards that are of a traumatic nature (such as falls by roofers) are not considered to be occupational diseases.

Under the law of workers' compensation in many jurisdictions, there is a presumption that specific disease are caused by the worker being in the work environment and the burden is on the employer or insurer to show that the disease came about from another cause. Diseases compensated by national workers compensation authorities are often termed occupational diseases. However many countries do not offer compensations for certain diseases like musculoskeletal disorders caused by work (e.g. in Norway).Therefore the term work-related diseases is utilized to describe diseases of occupational origin. This term however would then include both compensable and non-compensable diseases that have occupational origins.



Some well-known occupational diseases include:

Lung diseases

Occupational lung diseases include asbestosis among asbestos miners and those who work with friable asbestos insulation, as well as black lung (coalworker's pneumoconiosis) among coal miners, and byssinosis among workers in parts of the cotton textile industry.

Occupational asthma has a vast number of occupations at risk.

Bad indoor air quality may predispose for diseases in the lungs as well as in other parts of the body.

Skin diseases

Occupational skin diseases and conditions are generally caused by chemicals and having wet hands for long periods while at work. Eczema is by far the most common, but urticaria, sunburn and skin cancer are also of concern.[1]

High-risk occupations include:[1]

  • Hairdressing
  • Catering
  • Healthcare
  • Printing
  • Metal machining
  • Motor vehicle repair
  • Construction

Other diseases of concern


Donald Hunter in his classic history of occupational diseases discusses many example of occupational diseases.[2] They include:

See also


  1. ^ a b HSE (Health and Safety Executive of Great Britain) Skin at work Retrieved on June 20, 2009
  2. ^ Donald Hunter. Diseases of Occupations. Hodder Arnold; 8th rev. edition, 1994 ISBN 978-0340551738

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Look at other dictionaries:

  • occupational disease — oc·cu·pa·tion·al disease /ˌä kyə pā shə nəl / n: an ailment that results from the characteristic conditions or functions of one s employment rather than from the ordinary risks to which the general public is exposed and that renders one eligible… …   Law dictionary

  • occupational disease — ☆ occupational disease n. a disease commonly acquired by people in a particular occupation, as silicosis among miners …   English World dictionary

  • occupational disease — 1. Also called industrial disease. a disease caused by the conditions or hazards of a particular occupation. 2. a trait or tendency that develops among members of a particular profession: Cynicism was thought to be an occupational disease of… …   Universalium

  • occupational disease — noun disease or disability resulting from conditions of employment (usually from long exposure to a noxious substance or from continuous repetition of certain acts) • Syn: ↑industrial disease • Hypernyms: ↑disease * * * noun 1. : an illness… …   Useful english dictionary

  • Occupational disease — A disease due to a factor in a person s occupation. Occupational medicine was founded by the Italian physician Bernardino Ramazzini (1633 1714). His De Morbis Artificium (On Artificially Caused Diseases) published in 1700 was the first systematic …   Medical dictionary

  • occupational disease — A disease (as black lung disease incurred by miners) resulting from exposure during employment to conditions or substances detrimental to health. Impairment of health not caused by accident but by exposure to conditions incidental to and arising… …   Black's law dictionary

  • occupational disease — profesinė liga statusas T sritis ekologija ir aplinkotyra apibrėžtis Liga, kuria susergama dėl sveikatai nepalankių darbo sąlygų (kenksmingųjų profesinių veiksnių). Pagal kilmę (etiologiją) skirstomos į: sukeltas cheminių medžiagų (įvairių dujų,… …   Ekologijos terminų aiškinamasis žodynas

  • occupational disease — disease caused by working in a particular profession …   English contemporary dictionary

  • occupational disease — Synonyms and related words: abnormality, acute disease, affection, affliction, ailment, allergic disease, allergy, atrophy, bacterial disease, birth defect, blight, cardiovascular disease, chronic disease, circulatory disease, complaint,… …   Moby Thesaurus

  • occupational disease — a disease to which workers in certain occupations are particularly prone. Industrial diseases, associated with a particular industry or group of industries, fall within this category. Examples of such diseases include the various forms of… …   The new mediacal dictionary

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