alexa The incidence of work-related disease reported by occupational physicians, 1996-2001


Occupational Medicine & Health Affairs

Author(s): NMCherry, JCMcDonald

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In the course of six calendar years, 1996-2001, 5491 new cases of work-related disease were reported by a 1-in-12 random sample of occupational physicians throughout the UK. This represented an estimated total of almost 66 000, or 11 000 cases per annum. These cases have now been analysed by sex, occupation (nine categories) and industry (eight categories), and annual average incidence rates calculated in five main disease groups against a similarly classified denominator of 3.2 million employees served by the same physicians. The overall average annual estimated rate (342 per million) was eight times higher than that reported by clinical specialists, calculated in a similar manner against the entire employed population of the UK (28 million), but 17 times higher for musculoskeletal disease. For men employed in mines and quarries, and both men and women in metallic and automotive manufacture, rates for most types of disease were very high. Occupations with the highest rates were craftsmen and female associate professionals. In all these occupational and industrial groups with high rates, musculoskeletal complaints were the main cause, and skin, respiratory or stress diseases were next in importance. In each type of disease, there was a wide range in incidence rates, suggesting important differences in risk by occupation or industry.

This article was published in Occupational Medicine and referenced in Occupational Medicine & Health Affairs

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