The most common confirmed occupational disease is still noise-induced hearing loss. Noise-induced hearing loss refers to hearing impairment associated with the inner ear, caused by long-term or repeated exposure to noise. The second-most commonly confirmed occupational disease is pleural plaques caused by asbestos. Pleural plaques are caused by exposure to asbestos in past decades when asbestos was commonly used in construction materials, for example. Asbestos-related diseases usually involve a long delay between exposure and diagnosis. Noise-induced hearing loss and pleural plaques still account for nearly half of the number of confirmed occupational diseases each year.

(Text continues after graph)

Recognised occupational diseases

Occupational diseases top 10
0500100015002000Noise-related injuryNoise-related injury: 2066 cases 0.918 cases per 1000 workersAllergic contact dermatitisAllergic contact dermatitis: 667 cases 0.296 cases per 1000 workersIrritant contact dermatitisIrritant contact dermatitis: 613 cases 0.272 cases per 1000 workersPleural plaques caused by asbestosPleural plaques caused by asbestos: 583 cases 0.259 cases per 1000 workersOccupational asthmaOccupational asthma: 317 cases 0.141 cases per 1000 workersLateral epicondylitis (tennis elbow)Lateral epicondylitis (tennis elbow): 271 cases 0.120 cases per 1000 workersOccupational allergic rhinitisOccupational allergic rhinitis: 152 cases 0.068 cases per 1000 workersProtein contact dermatitis and contact urticariaProtein contact dermatitis and contact urticaria: 133 cases 0.059 cases per 1000 workersScabiesScabies: 127 cases 0.056 cases per 1000 workersEpidemic nephropathyEpidemic nephropathy: 121 cases 0.054 cases per 1000 workersNumber of cases
Exposure agents
0500100015002000NoiseNoise: 2066 cases 0.918 cases per 1000 workersChemical exposure agentsChemical exposure agents: 0 cases 0.000 cases per 1000 workersPlant- or animal-based exposure agentsPlant- or animal-based exposure agents: 0 cases 0.000 cases per 1000 workersVibrationVibration: 0 cases 0.000 cases per 1000 workersOther dusts and vapoursOther dusts and vapours: 0 cases 0.000 cases per 1000 workersOther or unknown factorsOther or unknown factors: 0 cases 0.000 cases per 1000 workersExposure to moisture damage and mouldExposure to moisture damage and mould: 0 cases 0.000 cases per 1000 workersRepetitive work and unphysiological work positionsRepetitive work and unphysiological work positions: 0 cases 0.000 cases per 1000 workersBiological exposure agentsBiological exposure agents: 0 cases 0.000 cases per 1000 workersAsbestos and other silicate materialsAsbestos and other silicate materials: 0 cases 0.000 cases per 1000 workersNumber of cases
Occupations top 10
0200400600Metal, machinery and related trades workersMetal, machinery and related trades workers: 651 casesBuilding and related trades workers, excluding electriciansBuilding and related trades workers, excluding electricians: 355 casesStationary plant and machine operatorsStationary plant and machine operators: 264 casesElectrical and electronic trades workersElectrical and electronic trades workers: 99 casesDrivers and mobile plant operatorsDrivers and mobile plant operators: 89 casesMarket-oriented skilled agricultural workersMarket-oriented skilled agricultural workers: 86 casesFood processing, wood working, garment and other craft and related trades workersFood processing, wood working, garment and other craft and related trades workers: 84 casesLabourers in mining, construction, manufacturing and transportLabourers in mining, construction, manufacturing and transport: 67 casesScience and engineering associate professionalsScience and engineering associate professionals: 63 casesPersonal service workersPersonal service workers: 48 casesNumber of cases
Occupations top 10, relative
02468Commissioned armed forces officersCommissioned armed forces officers: 9.250 cases per 1000 workers in this occupationMetal, machinery and related trades workersMetal, machinery and related trades workers: 8.037 cases per 1000 workers in this occupationMarket-oriented skilled forestry, fishery and hunting workersMarket-oriented skilled forestry, fishery and hunting workers: 7.000 cases per 1000 workers in this occupationHandicraft and printing workersHandicraft and printing workers: 5.125 cases per 1000 workers in this occupationFood processing, wood working, garment and other craft and related trades workersFood processing, wood working, garment and other craft and related trades workers: 4.200 cases per 1000 workers in this occupationBuilding and related trades workers, excluding electriciansBuilding and related trades workers, excluding electricians: 4.080 cases per 1000 workers in this occupationStationary plant and machine operatorsStationary plant and machine operators: 3.474 cases per 1000 workers in this occupationElectrical and electronic trades workersElectrical and electronic trades workers: 2.829 cases per 1000 workers in this occupationMarket-oriented skilled agricultural workersMarket-oriented skilled agricultural workers: 1.536 cases per 1000 workers in this occupationLabourers in mining, construction, manufacturing and transportLabourers in mining, construction, manufacturing and transport: 1.367 cases per 1000 workers in this occupationRelative number of cases

With regard to occupational dermatological diseases, allergic contact dermatitis and irritant contact dermatitis are among the most common occupational diseases. Allergic contact dermatitis is caused by epoxy chemicals and products, rubber chemicals, preservatives and acrylates, among other things. Work involving contact with water is the most common cause of irritant contact dermatitis.

Most confirmed occupational asthma cases are related to plant- or animal-based exposure agents, such as flour, feed and cows. Approximately one in three cases of occupational asthma are caused by exposures to moisture damage and moulds. Irritant-induced asthmas are also confirmed as occupational diseases. Plant- and animal-based exposure agents are also among the most common causes of occupational rhinitis.

The most common repetitive strain injury confirmed as an occupational disease is lateral epicondylitis (tennis elbow), caused by repetitive work. The trend of repetitive strain injuries has been clearly downward during the review period.

Asbestosis caused by asbestos and mesothelioma (cancer of the pleura or peritoneum) also rank among the most common occupational diseases. Asbestos has also been indicated as an exposure agent in nearly all confirmed cases of lung cancer.

The spectrums of occupational diseases among women and men differ. The most common occupational diseases in men’s occupational disease statistics – noise-induced hearing loss and pleural plaques – are not among the most common diseases in women’s occupational disease statistics, where irritant contact dermatitis and allergic contact dermatitis rank at the top.

Reviewed by sector, occupational diseases are detected especially in industry, construction, agriculture, wholesale and retail trade, and health services. Reviewed by occupation, the highest number of cases of occupational disease is diagnosed in, for example, construction workers, metal, machinery and related trades workers and, farmers and animal breeders, stationary plant and machine operators, and personal service workers, such as hairdressers, barbers and cosmetologists.

(Text continues after graph)

Recognised occupational diseases

Regions
In proportion to workers
2.02.53.03.54.04.55.0Cases per 1000 workersRegion: Päijät-Häme Cases per 1000 workers: 2.685Region: Etelä-Savo Cases per 1000 workers: 3.054Region: Lapland Cases per 1000 workers: 2.322Region: Kainuu (incl. Vaala) Cases per 1000 workers: 4.909Region: North Ostrobothnia Cases per 1000 workers: 2.790Region: Kymenlaakso Cases per 1000 workers: 2.250Region: South Karelia Cases per 1000 workers: 3.826Region: Kanta-Häme Cases per 1000 workers: 2.982Region: North Karelia Cases per 1000 workers: 5.300Region: Pohjois-Savo Cases per 1000 workers: 5.214Region: Central Finland Cases per 1000 workers: 3.398Region: Central Ostrobothnia Cases per 1000 workers: 3.692Region: Varsinais-Suomi Cases per 1000 workers: 3.182Region: Ostrobothnia Cases per 1000 workers: 2.386Region: Pirkanmaa Cases per 1000 workers: 2.836Region: Satakunta Cases per 1000 workers: 3.722Region: South Ostrobothnia Cases per 1000 workers: 4.637Region: Uusimaa Cases per 1000 workers: 1.775Region: Åland Cases per 1000 workers: 0.000
Year
Year 2012: 1492 cases 0.663 cases per 1000 workersYear 2013: 1353 cases 0.601 cases per 1000 workersYear 2014: 1227 cases 0.545 cases per 1000 workersYear 2015: 1240 cases 0.551 cases per 1000 workersYear 2016: 1032 cases 0.459 cases per 1000 workers20122013201420152016Year02004006008001,0001,2001,400Number of cases

Region-specific differences in the incidence of occupational diseases are related to factors such as differences in industry structures, but there may also be regional differences in occupational disease diagnostics.

(Text continues after graph)

Recognised occupational diseases

Sex distribution
Men: 4402 cases 1.956 cases per 1000 workersWomen: 1782 cases 0.792 cases per 1000 workersMen 71 %Women 29 %
Age categories
- 24 year olds: 334 cases 0.148 cases per 1000 workers25 - 29 year olds: 394 cases 0.175 cases per 1000 workers30 - 34 year olds: 384 cases 0.171 cases per 1000 workers35 - 39 year olds: 424 cases 0.188 cases per 1000 workers40 - 44 year olds: 454 cases 0.202 cases per 1000 workers45 - 49 year olds: 633 cases 0.281 cases per 1000 workers50 - 54 year olds: 877 cases 0.390 cases per 1000 workers55 - 59 year olds: 1245 cases 0.553 cases per 1000 workers60 - 64 year olds: 1439 cases 0.639 cases per 1000 workers- 2425 - 2930 - 3435 - 3940 - 4445 - 4950 - 5455 - 5960 - 64Age category02004006008001,0001,2001,400Number of cases
Industries top 10
050010001500C IndustryC Industry: 1964 cases 0.873 cases per 1000 workersF ConstructionF Construction: 1083 cases 0.481 cases per 1000 workersA Agriculture, forestry and fishingA Agriculture, forestry and fishing: 807 cases 0.359 cases per 1000 workersQ Health and social servicesQ Health and social services: 493 cases 0.219 cases per 1000 workersG Wholesale and retail, motor vehicle and motorcycle repairG Wholesale and retail, motor vehicle and motorcycle repair: 426 cases 0.189 cases per 1000 workersO Public administration and defence; compulsory social securityO Public administration and defence; compulsory social security: 241 cases 0.107 cases per 1000 workersS Other service operationsS Other service operations: 202 cases 0.090 cases per 1000 workersI Accommodation and catering operationsI Accommodation and catering operations: 200 cases 0.089 cases per 1000 workersN Administrative and support service activitiesN Administrative and support service activities: 182 cases 0.081 cases per 1000 workersH Transport and storageH Transport and storage: 147 cases 0.065 cases per 1000 workersNumber of cases

A substantial share of occupational diseases could be prevented by way of communications, development of working conditions, technical solutions, correct working practices and protection. Workplace risk assessment and the company’s co-operation with occupational health services play a key role in the prevention of occupational diseases.