Occupational Illnesses & Workplace-Related Illnesses
It is important to analyze whether there is a connection between an illness and the work activities or the conditions in that work environment, so that the nature of the work can be established as the root cause of the illness in question. In this way, other employees can be protected against that illness or disease.
Occupational illness refers to an illness caused by work activities or conditions in the work environment.
Workplace-related illnesses refers to an illness or medical condition that occurs, worsens or is prolonged due to work activities or conditions in the work environment, but is not considered to be caused directly by work or conditions in the work environment.
Examples of occupational diseases are hearing loss caused by noise pollution in the workplace, respiratory diseases, skin diseases and diseases related to asbestos pollution.
Employees Report Occupational Illnesses or Workplace-Related Illnesses
Staff who consider themselves to be suffering from an occupational disease or a workplace-related illness must notify the employer and consult a doctor. It is important to inform the employer as soon as possible when symptoms appear in order to give them the opportunity to take measures necessary to prevent potential risk factors.
The Employer Keeps a Record of Occupational Illnesses and Incidents That Can Cause Damage to Health
The employer must keep a record of the illnesses that they have reason to suspect, or know, are rooted in specific work being done or other conditions in the workplace. They must also record incidents that could cause damage to health, such as chemical pollution that can have a detrimental effect on human health.
Risk assessment and prevention can prevent occupational illnesses and workplace-related illnesses. When an employee’s illness is suspected to be related to the work environment, it is important that the employer responds by identifying possible causes and takes the necessary precautions to prevent further spread of the illness within the employee group.
The AOSH Keeps a Registry of Occupational Illnesses and Workplace-Related Illnesses.
The AOSH keeps a registry of occupational diseases workplace-related illnesses reported to the administration by physicians. The purpose is to assess the incidence rate and spread of such illnesses and to identify their causes in the workplace, so that further cases of the disease can be prevented.
The AOSH does not decide which illnesses or symptoms can be confirmed as occupational diseases or workplace-related illnesses.
When registering, it is recommended to refer to a list that is based on the EU List of Occupational Diseases. However, this list is not exhaustive and certain disease categories that may sometimes be work-related are not included on that list.
A Physician Reports an Alleged Occupational Illness
A physician who discovers or suspects that an employee or group of employees has/have an occupational disease, a workplace-related illness or has/have suffered other harmful effects as a result of their work, shall without undue delay report it to the AOSH. These reports are independent of whether the occupational disease or the workplace-related illness is considered compensable.
Physicians shall, in the diagnosis and reporting of occupational diseases and workplace-related illnesses, maintain procedures in accordance with the provisions of the Regulation on the reporting and registration of occupational diseases.
- Reglugerð nr. 540/2011 um
Even if certain diseases are not found on the list of occupational diseases that must be reported, it is no less urgent to report them if a causal link to the workplace is suspected.
Reports can be submitted via the Saga System. The electronic form is number 225.
Occupational Illnesses That Must be Reported
The list is based on the EU List of Occupational Illnesses and is not exhaustive. The fundamental factor is that it is suspected that the illnesses can be traced to the work.
101 Arsenic and its compounds
102 Beryllium (glucinium) or its compounds
01 Carbon monoxide
02 Carbon oxychloride
01 Hydrocyanic acid
02 Cyanides and compounds thereof
105 Cadmium or its compounds
105 Chromium or its compounds
107 Mercury or its compounds
108 Magnesium or its compounds
01 Nitric acid
02 Nitrous oxide
110 Nickel or its compounds
111 Phosphorus or its compounds
112 Lead and its compounds
01 Sulfur oxide
02 Sulfuric acid
03 Carbon disulphide
114 Vanadium or its compounds
05 Fluoride and its compounds
116 Aliphatic or alicyclic hydrocarbons derived from petrol vapor or petrol
117 Halogen derivatives of aliphatic or alicyclic hydrocarbons
118 Butyl, methyl and isopropyl alcohol
119 Ethylene glycol, diethylene glycol, 1,4-butanediol, and nitrogen derivatives glycols and or glycerol
120 Methyl ether, ethyl ether, isopropyl ether, vinyl ether, dichloroisopropyl ether, guaiacol, methyl ether, and ethyl ether from ethylene glycol
121 Acetone, chloroacetone, bromoacetone, hexafluoroacetone, methyl ethyl ketone, methyl n-butyl ketone, methyl isobutyl ketone, diacetone alcohol, mesityl oxide, 2-methylcyclohexanone
122 Organophosphorus esters
123 Organic acids
125 Aliphatic nitrogen derivatives
01 Benzene or parts thereof (parts of which are defined by the equation: CnH2n-6)
02 Naphthalene or parts thereof (parts of naphthalene are defined by the equation: CnH2n-12)
03 Vinylbenzene and divinylbenzene
127 Halogen derivatives of aromatic hydrocarbons
01 Phenols or parts thereof, or halogen derivatives thereof
01 Naphthols or parts thereof, or halogen derivatives thereof
03 Halogen derivatives of alkylaryl oxides
03 Halogen derivatives of alkylaryl sulfonates
01 Aromatic amines or aromatic hydrazines or halogenated, phenolic, nitrified, nitrated or sulfonated derivatives thereof
02 Aliphatic amines and their halogen derivatives
127 Nitrogen derivatives of aromatic hydrocarbons
02 Nitrogen derivatives of phenols or parts thereof
131 Antimony and its derivatives
132 Nitric acid esters
133 Hydrogen sulphide
135 Encephalopathies caused by organic solvents
136 Polyneuritis caused by organic solvents
201 Skin diseases and cancers caused by:
201.05 Anthracene or its compounds
201.06 Oil (mineral oil)
201.07 Crude paraffin
201.08 Carbazole or its compounds
201.09 Substances connected to coal mining
202 Occupational skin diseases caused by recognized allergy-provoking agents or irritants not included in other items
301 Respiratory diseases and cancer
301.11 Silicosis (stone lung)
301.12 Silicosis (stone long) associated with tuberculosis
301.22 Mesothelioma caused by the inhalation of asbestos dust
301.31 Pneumoconiosis caused by dust from silicates
302 Complications of asbestosis in the pulmonary bronchi
303 Pulmonary bronchial disorders due to sintered metal
304.01 Extrinsic allergic alveolites
304.02 Pulmonary diseases caused by the inhalation of dust or thread from cotton, flax, hemp, bast, sisal and bagasse
304.04 Respiratory diseases caused by the inhalation of dust from cobalt, tin, barium and graphite.
305.01 Upper respiratory tract cancer caused by the inhalation of wood dust
304.06 Allergic asthma caused by the inhalation of substances that have been shown to be associated with certain types of work activities.
304.06 Allergic rhinorrhea caused by the inhalation of substances that have been shown to be associated with certain types of work activities.
306 Fibrosis associated with pleura leading to respiratory obstruction caused by asbestos
307 Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease or constriction among underground coal miners
308 Lung cancer caused by the inhalation of asbestos dust
309 Bronchopulmonary diseases associated with inhalation of dust or vapor from aluminum or its compounds
310 Bronchopulmonary diseases caused by slag
401 Infectious and parasitic diseases transmitted from animals, or human remains to humans
404 Hepatitis viruses
407 Other infectious diseases caused by preventative measures against infectious diseases, healthcare activities, caregiving or other forms of assistance at home, including other comparable activities that carry a risk of infection.
502.01 Cataracts in the eye due to heat radiation
502.02 Blepharitis following ultraviolet radiation
503 Hearing impairment or deafness caused by noise
504 Diseases caused by changes in air pressure
505.01 Joint or bone diseases in the hand or wrist due to vibration caused by machinery or equipment
505.02 Angioneurotic diseases caused by vibration from machinery or equipment
506.10 Articular capsule diseases due to pressure
506.11 Bursitis below or above the patella
506.12 Bursitis in the elbow
506.13 Shoulder capsulitis
506.21 Diseases due to strain on the synovium
506.22 Diseases due to excessive strain on the periosteum
506.21 Diseases due to strain on muscles or tendons
506.30 Meniscus lesions following extended periods of work in a kneeling or squatting position
506.40 Nerve paralysis due to pressure
506.45 Carpal tunnel syndrome
507 Miner’s nystagmus
508 Diseases due to ionizing radiation.