Occupational health

Occupational and work-related diseases

An “occupational disease” is any disease contracted primarily as a result of an exposure to risk factors arising from work activity. “Work-related diseases” have multiple causes, where factors in the work environment may play a role, together with other risk factors, in the development of such diseases.

preventive medical examination for early detection of occupational diseases, Malina, Philippines

The WHO Global Plan of Action on Workers’ Health called for improving the diagnosis, reporting and registration of occpational diseases and building capacities for estimating the occupational burden of diseases

WHO’s activities regarding ocucpational and work-related diseases include:

  • Carrying our estimates of the global burden of disease from major occupational risks, such as injuries, airborne exposures, carcinogens, ergonomic stressors, noise and other specific risks.
  • Incorporating occupational diseases and their causes in the 11th revision of the International Statistical Classification of Diseases and Related Health Problems.
  • Working with ILO to develop diagnostic and exposure criteria for occupational diseases and to enable primary and secondary health care providers to detect and report such diseases.