Ramazzini; Blog on work and health by Annet Lenderink


Legislation helps prevention

One of the most difficult things in Occupational Health is show that preventive measures really have impact on the incidence of work-related disease. In an interesting study by Jill Stocks et al. data of the registries for occupational diseases in the UK are used to study the influence of European legislation on reducing chromate exposure in cement. They found a steeper decline in allergic contact dermatitis attributed to chromate than for other types of allergic contact dermatitis after introduction of the legislation.

S J Stocks, R McNamee, S Turner, M Carder, R M Agius Has European Union legislation to reduce exposure to chromate in cement been effective in reducing the incidence of allergic contact dermatitis attributed to chromate in the UK? Occup Environ Med2012;69:150-152 Read the rest of this entry »

Filed under: Allergies, Chemical agents, Skin, , , ,

Occupational diseases surveillance in France

The French national occupational disease surveillance and prevention network (RNV3P) includes the 30 occupational disease consultation centres in university hospitals to which patients are referred for potentially work-related diseases, and an occupational health service.

Analysis of  data from 2001 to 2007 (58 777 occupational health reports) showed that referrals increased significantly for asbestos-related diseases, mood disorders and adjustment disorders related to psychological and organisational demands, and for elbow and shoulder disorders related to manual handling.

Referrals significantly decreased for asthma and for rhinitis related to exposure to organic dusts (vegetable or animal) or chemicals, except for cosmetics and cleaning products.

Programmed health surveillance and detection of emerging diseases in occupational health: contribution of the French national occupational disease surveillance and prevention network (RNV3P)
Vincent Bonneterre et al. Occup Environ Med 2010;67:178-186 Read the rest of this entry »

Filed under: New occupational risks, Occupational diseases, Occupational medicine, Reporting OD's, , ,

OPs report more back and lower limb conditions

[picapp src=”0270/146fcbc5-31a9-4a0b-811d-91289ec1d2a1.jpg?adImageId=5422673&imageId=273862″ width=”100″ height=”130″ /] There are significant differences between the patterns of work-related musculoskeletal disaorders seen by the different specialist groups (occupational physicians – OPs , rheumatologists and general practitioners – GPs).OPs report three times as many back and lower limb conditions. However, OPs and rheumatologists report similar numbers of cases of hand–arm vibration syndrome (12/9%) and ‘vague and ill-defined’ upper limb conditions (16/14%).

Work-related musculoskeletal conditions: evidence from the THOR reporting system 2002–2005
Andy Slovak, Melanie Carder, Annemarie Money, Susan Turner and Raymond Agius Occupational Medicine 2009 59(7):447-453Background: Musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs) are commonly encountered in current occupational health practice and comprise up to 45% of the workload for occupational physicians (OPs).

Aims: To compare the reported incidence of work-related (WR) MSDs by specialist OPs and specialist rheumatologists and to relate it to self-reported and general practitioners-reported WR MSDs.

Methods: Analysis of data reported to surveillance schemes within The Health and Occupation Reporting (THOR) network and comparison to denominator data derived from the Labour Force Survey and occupational/work activity classifications.

Results: There are significant differences between the patterns of WR MSDs seen by the different specialist groups. Thus OPs report three times as many back and lower limb conditions. However, both specialist groups report similar numbers of cases of hand–arm vibration syndrome (12/9%) and ‘vague and ill-defined’ upper limb conditions (16/14%). The absolute risk of physician reported that WR MSDs increases 5-fold between ages 15–24 and 45–64.

Conclusions: The specialist reporting schemes give an indication of current practice and are useful both to update and to strategically inform planning. The data are amenable, with appropriate statistical analysis, for comparison with self-reporting and to the characterization of risk in broad categories of occupation and work activity.

Read the rest of this entry »

Filed under: Musculoskeletal problems, Occupational diseases, Reporting OD's, ,

Introducing MODERNET

This year I have been working on and off on a proposal to get funding for the network we would like to develop. It is called Modernet (Monitoring trends in Occupational Diseases and tracing new and Emerging Risks in a NETwork). It was initiated through the cooperation of the Netherlands Center for Occupational Diseases in Amsterdam and the Occupational and Environmental Health Research Group of the University of Manchester (UK). On invitation people and institutes from Finland, France, Italy and the Czech Republic joined. Last weeks meeting in Paris was the 3rd meeting since 2007. logo-modernet

Underneath you will find a revised abstract of our proposal for funding

Modernet, a network for development of new techniques for discovering trends in occupational and work-related diseases and tracing new and emerging risks

Occupational diseases (ODs) impose a heavy burden on both workers and employers and represent enormous economic costs. In general the information on incidence and prevalence of occupational diseases is rather poor and fragmented, but in particular, there is an urgent need for new methods and instruments to trace new and emerging occupational health (OH) risks. We want to develop a network for exchange of knowledge on, and setting the basis for comparative evaluation and development of new techniques to enhance the information on trends in ODs, on discovering and validating new OH risks more quickly (data mining, workers’ and physicians’ reporting coupled with novel statistical techniques) and use of modern techniques to discuss and disseminate information (platforms, social media). The network started with centres of excellence in OH in 6 European countries and has the interest of at least 5 more European and other countries. It will organize meetings, initiate collaborative activities and innovation projects, exchange and disseminate information.

We hope to let you know more about us as soon as we aquire some funding to be more present on the web.

Filed under: New occupational risks, Occupational diseases, Reporting OD's, , ,

The Long History of Emerging Occupational Diseases

Recently I found a very interesting webcast by Paul Blanc, MD, MSPH. Paul Blanc is Professor of Medicine and Endowed Chair in Occupational and Environmental Medicine at the University of California San Francisco where he has been on faculty since 1988. He currently serves as Chief of the Division of Occupational and Environmental Medicine.

Dr. Blanc is talking about his book How Everyday Products make People Sick: Toxins at home and in the workplace. He illustrates his point that the emerging of occupational diseases can be looked upon as technology driven by telling the story of wood preserving and the development of glues over centuries. Very interesting indeed!

Linkadres of the webcast, click here.

Filed under: History, Knowledge, Occupational diseases, ,

Occupational risks of cleaners in health care

Cleaning hospitals causes health risks:

Epidemiology of occupational injury among cleaners in the healthcare sector
Hasanat Alamgir and Shicheng Yu
The researchers conclude: Cleaners were found to be at an elevated risk of all injury categories compared with healthcare workers in general.

So also articles like:

Rhinitis and asthma symptoms in non-domestic cleaners from the São Paulo metropolitan area, Brazil Occupational and Environmental Medicine 2007;64:446-453 free abstract

High risk occupations for non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma (this blog) 

Read the rest of this entry »

Filed under: Occupational diseases,

Occupational diseases Singapore 2007

Singapore’s Workplace Safety and Health Advisory Committee (WSHAC) released the 2007 WSH Report which shows continued improvements in Singapore’s WSH performance. Statistics show continued decline in workplace fatalities and serious injuries. The Ministry of Manpower (MOM) and WSHAC also announced priority areas for 2008 in response to trends highlighted in the Report.Report Highlights:
In all categories, the fatality/injury rate per 100,000 employees shows a decline:

  • Workplace fatality rate fell from 3.1 in 2006 to 2.9 in 2007
  • Permanent disablement rate fell from 8.5 in 2006 to 7.5 in 2007
  • Temporary disablement rate fell from 458 in 2006 to 450 in 2007
  • Occupational disease incidence fell from 33.3 in 2006 to 27.7 in 2007

2008 focus areas of concerns as identified by the report:

  • Work with Machines Dangerous to Hands
  • Flammable and Hazardous Substances
  • Work at Heights
  • Demolition Work
  • Crane-related Activity

Filed under: Reporting OD's, ,

Compensation for work-related injury in China

Chinese flagIt’s always interesting to read about other countries compensation systems on occupational diseases. I found a post on the Chinese system. 

On the China Labour bulletin there is a post on the compensation for work-related injury in China. The China Labour bulletin was founded in 1994 by labour activist Han Dongfang and has grown from a small monitoring and research group into a proactive outreach organization that seeks to defend and promote workers rights in the People’s Republic of China. We are a non-governmental organization based in Hong Kong and have extensive links and cooperation with labour groups and law firms within China, as well as with the international labour movement.

There is a 10 grade work ability scale. Grades 1 – 4 are the most serious and indicate that the employee no longer has any ability to work; grades 5 and 6 signify that an employee has lost most of their ability to work, while workers with grade 7 to 10 injuries are classified as partially disabled. By law, employers are required to pay the medical expenses of employees suffering from work-related injuries as well as a disability allowance based on the seriousness of the injuries.

Filed under: Compensation,

The quality of reporting occupational diseases in the Netherlands

An interesting article on the quality of reporting in the Dutch system: 

D.Spreeuwers1, A. G. E. M. de Boer1, J. H. A. M. Verbeek1,2, M. M. van Beurden1 and F. J. H. van Dijk1
Diagnosing and reporting of occupational diseases: a quality improvement study

To assess the need for quality improvement of diagnosing and reporting of noise-induced occupational hearing loss and occupational adjustment disorder. Performance indicators and criteria for the quality of diagnosing and reporting were developed. Self-assessment questionnaires were sent to all occupational physicians recorded on the Netherlands Centre for Occupational Diseases database.

The mean quality score for diagnosing and reporting was 6.0 (SD: 1.4) for noise-induced occupational hearing loss and 7.9 (SD: 1.5) for occupational adjustment disorder on a scale of 0-10. For noise-induced occupational hearing loss, there was a need for quality improvement of the aspects of medical history, audiometric measurement, clinical diagnosis of the disease and reporting. For occupational adjustment disorder, the assessment of other non-occupational causes needed improvement.

1 Coronel Institute of Occupational Health, Academic Medical Centre, University of Amsterdam, the Netherlands
2 Finnish Institute of Occupational Health, Knowledge Transfer Team, Kuopio, Finland

Filed under: Reporting OD's, , ,

NCvB – Netherlands Center for Occupational Diseases

The Netherlands Center for Occupational Diseases (NCvB) is a knowledge center for professionals in occupational health, employers and employees organizations, government institutions and policymakers. The NCvB is an autonomous unit within the Coronel Institute of Occupational Health, Division Clinical Methods and Public Health of the Academic Medical Center, University of Amsterdam.

The mission of the Netherlands Center for Occupational Diseases is to improve the quality in the prevention, (early) diagnosis, treatment and supervision of occupational diseases and work-related disorders.

To achieve this goal, the NCvB develops activities in three areas:

• registration of occupational diseases (National notification and registration system)

• dissemination of knowledge

• clinical occupational medicine

At the NCvB there are 25 employees with several specialists on occupational diseases, epidemiology and registries.

Alert report 2007 published
Like each year the alert report aims to provide an overview of the occurence and distribution of occupational disease in sectors and occupations. Trends are highlighted and the alert report also serves as an early warning.

Alerts are warning signals which the NCvB believes should be known to health & safety policymakers and professionals so that they can respond with appropriate action.

Alerts could, for instance, relate to the emergence of new diseases or new risks or to bottlenecks in the provision of care for occupational disease. The most important alerts are listed on the homepage.

Netherlands Center for Occupational Diseases
Academic Medical Center (Location Hogeschool van Amsterdam)
Postbox 22660
1100 DD  Amsterdam
The Netherlands

E-mail: ncvb@amc.uva.nl

Telephone: 00 31 (20) 566 5387

Fax: 00 31 (20) 566 9288

Filed under: No category,


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Annet Lenderink

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