Health The incidence of occupational diseases is declining, but the statistics may give too bright a picture

Noise injuries in men, various rashes in women.

For chemicals exposure is becoming an increasingly important cause of occupational diseases. At the same time, noise injuries and asbestos diseases are decreasing, according to the Institute of Occupational Health’s occupational disease statistics.

About one in four cases of the disease in working-age women is diagnosed in those under 30 years of age, compared with 8% in men.

“Women’s cases are more indicative of the trend we are heading for occupational diseases,” says the chief physician. Kirsi Koskela In a press release from the National Institute of Occupational Health.

The latest the data refer to 2017. About a thousand confirmed cases of occupational diseases were recorded, which was more than a quarter less than in the previous year.

“This declining trend can even give an erroneous picture of the current situation in working life,” Koskela points out.

The decline in the total is largely explained by a reduction in traditional occupational diseases such as noise injuries and asbestos diseases, and exposure to these has often occurred decades earlier. The reduction was smaller in those diseases where exposure occurs now.

There is as yet no evidence that the use of exposures in the workplace that cause respiratory symptoms and skin diseases, for example, is declining.

For working age people the most common confirmed occupational disease was still noise injury, which is also the most common occupational disease in men. Women are at the forefront of irritable contact dermatitis and allergic contact dermatitis.

Chemical agents already caused 44% of occupational diseases in working-age people.

Occupational diseases are a nuisance for men in particular. Of the confirmed cases of working age, 70 per cent were recorded for men.

Koskela recalls that some cases of occupational diseases may be left in the dark. An occupational disease can only be diagnosed if the employee is insured.

“For example, not all hairdressing and beauty entrepreneurs have insurance. In addition, the threshold for applying for research may be high in atypical employment, such as seasonal and temporary work, and foreign workers are not always familiar with our system. ”

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