FINLAND: all about occupational diseases

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According to the most recent data published by  FIOH, a total of 4,090 occupational diseases or suspected occupational diseases were registered in 2016 (Register TPSR), which is about 7% less than in 2015.

The vast majority, 3,428 cases, concerned the 15-64 age group, i.e. 14.4 cases/10,000 employees. In this age group, 1,060 (out of a total of 1,479) cases were recognized as occupational diseases.

The most frequently recognized ones in all age groups were hearing loss and asbestos-related pleural plaques. For the 15-64 age group, they were as follows:

  • noise-induced hearing loss (319 cases),
  • skin diseases (316 cases, including 141 allergic dermatitis, 103 irritant contact dermatitis),
  • MSDs (124 cases),
  • asbestos-related diseases (95 cases, but 446 all age groups combined),
  • asthma (78 cases),
  • rhinitis (52 cases).

Among the recognized cases, the victims were overwhelmingly men: 72%, or even 97% among those over 65 years of age due to asbestos-related diseases, which sometimes occur long after exposure.

It should be noted that physicians have a statutory obligation to report an occupational disease or suspected occupational disease. However, in 2016, 27% of all occupational diseases and their suspicions were reported.

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