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.

This means that the disease must have developed due to exposures in the workplace and that the correlation between the exposures and the disease is well known in medical research. Or put in another way, it must not be likely, beyond reasonable doubt, that the disease was caused by factors other than work.

Examples of occupational diseases:

  • Tennis elbow
  • Allergy
  • Hearing loss
  • Asthma

Exposures in the workplace that may cause some of the above diseases:

  • Repetitive work movements
  • Work with arms lifted above shoulder height
  • Heavy lifting work
  • Work in a very noisy environment
  • Work with hazardous substances

When there is adequate medical documentation that a disease is caused by a certain exposure, the disease is included on the list of occupational diseases.

The list of occupational diseases is a list of work-related diseases which are recognised as industrial injuries if a person has had certain exposures in the workplace. The list is constantly updated so that it covers the most recent research. This is done by the Occupational Diseases Committee, which is composed of representatives from i.a. the Danish Board of Health (Sundhedsstyrelsen), the Working Environment Authority (Arbejdstilsynet), and the parties to the labour market.

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