Clear The Air News Blog Rotating Header Image

The Prevention of Occupational Diseases

The report highlights occupational safety and health (OSH) as an integral part of the promotion of the prevention of occupational diseases.

International Labour Organization ILO/OIT – 2013


Occupational diseases cause huge suffering and loss in the world of work. While much progress has been made in addressing the challenges of occupational diseases, there is an urgent need to strengthen the capacity for their prevention in national OSH systems.

With the collaborative effort of governments and employers’ and workers’ organizations, the fight against this hidden epidemic will have to feature prominently in new global and national agendas for safety and health.

This report for the World Day for Safety and Health at Work outlines the current situation concerning occupational diseases and presents proposals for addressing this serious Decent Work deficit.

“….Occupational diseases cause huge suffering and loss in the world of work. Yet, occupational or work-related diseases remain largely invisible in comparison to industrial accidents, even though they kill six times as many people each year.

Furthermore, the nature of occupational diseases is altering rapidly: technological and social changes, along with global economic conditions, are aggravating existing health hazards and creating new ones. Well-known occupational diseases, such as pneumoconioses, remain widespread, while relatively new occupational diseases, such as mental and musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs), are on the rise…..”

Downloads available at:

English: The Prevention of Occupational Diseases,
Español: La Prevención de las enfermedades profesionales
Français: La Prévention des maladies professionnelles
Italiano: La prevenzione delle malattie professionali

Report Content:

I. The hidden epidemic: A global picture

Emerging risks and new challenges

Musculoskeletal and mental disorders

The costs of occupational and work-related diseases

II. Assessing the need for better data

III. Steps for the prevention of occupational diseases
The role of employers and workers

IV. ILO action

V. The road ahead

What constitutes an occupational disease?

An occupational disease is a disease contracted as a result of an exposure to risk factors arising from work.
Recognition of the occupational origin of a disease, at the individual level, requires the establishment of a causal relationship between the disease and the exposure of the worker to certain hazardous agents at the workplace.

This relationship is normally established on the basis of clinical and pathological data, occupational history (anamnesis) and job analysis, identification and evaluation of occupational hazards as well as exposure verification. When a disease is clinically diagnosed and a causal link is established, the disease is then recognized as occupational…”


*      *     *
This message from the Pan American Health Organization, PAHO/WHO, is part of an effort to disseminate
information Related to: Equity; Health inequality; Socioeconomic inequality in health; Socioeconomic
health differentials; Gender; Violence; Poverty; Health Economics; Health Legislation; Ethnicity; Ethics;
Information Technology – Virtual libraries; Research & Science issues.  [DD/ KMC Area]
Washington DC USA

“Materials provided in this electronic list are provided “as is”. Unless expressly stated otherwise, the findings
and interpretations included in the Materials are those of the authors and not necessarily of The Pan American
Health Organization PAHO/WHO or its country members”.
PAHO/WHO Website
Equity List – Archives – Join/remove:

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *