Ramazzini; Blog on work and health by Annet Lenderink

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Can workers report work-related diseases?

In most countries workers can file workers’ compensation claims if they think they suffer from a work-related disease. Based on the rules that apply for their national system they may can their health problem rated an occupational disease and receive compensation. In the Netherlands we do not have such a system. The only way to get officially compensated is claim compensation in court and sue the employer. Nevertheless occupational physicians are obliged to report (suspected) occupational diseases to the Netherlands Center for Occupational Diseases. But despite this obligation there is substantial underreporting. That is why we recently started discussions on workers’ reporting work-related illness and disease to create a new source of information on work-related health problems. I am interested to hear you opinion on that subject. So please answer the poll question and comment if you feel like it.

Filed under: Reporting OD's, , , ,

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, , ,

Asbestosis figures from British Columbia

To get insight in the true burden of asbestosis in the population it’s not enough to rely on a single source. Triangulation of workers’ compensation, hospitalisation and outpatient databases records is necessary to get a better picture.

Population-based asbestosis surveillance in British Columbia
W Q Gan, P A Demers, C B McLeod M Koehoorn
Occupational and Environmental Medicine 2009;66:766-771  Read the rest of this entry »

Filed under: Chemical agents, lung, Mesothelioma, ,

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, ,

Notification of occupational skin diseases

Notification of occupational skin diseases by dermatologists in The Netherlands

T. M. Pal, N. S. de Wilde, M. M. van Beurden, P. J. Coenraads2 and D. P. Bruynzeel

A voluntary surveillance scheme with dermatologists provides valuable data about the distribution of OCD in risk professions and the causal agents. However, it has certain limitations in assessing trends in incidence. Active medical surveillance in populations at risk should be encouraged not only to improve secondary prevention but also to obtain more reliable information about the incidence of OCD. Read the rest of this entry »

Filed under: Reporting OD's, ,

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, , ,

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Annet Lenderink

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