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There is no specific insurance against occupational diseases in the Netherlands. Therefore, according to the Ministry of Social Affairs and Employment, “claiming damages in court is still often difficult” because among other things the disease often manifests itself long after exposure. “This is why, as of next year, victims will be able to receive a single financial compensation”.
This new compensation scheme for serious illnesses caused by occupational exposure to dangerous substances applies, initially, to asbestos-related lung cancer, allergic asthma and chronic toxic encephalopathy, also known as painters’ disease. These three occupational diseases are the ones on which a relatively large amount of knowledge is available. Others diseases will be added in the coming years.
The new centre of expertise offers victims a short and fast route to the recognition of their occupational disease. It will contribute to the prevention and identification of occupational diseases and will also focus on the development, collection and dissemination of knowledge. The centre will also advise on compensation and the extension of the list of serious occupational diseases related to dangerous substances.