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Incidence rates of occupational diseases in the Dutch construction sector, 2010–2014
  1. Henk F van der Molen1,
  2. Sanne C de Vries1,
  3. S Jill Stocks2,
  4. Jan Warning3,
  5. Monique H W Frings-Dresen1
  1. 1Coronel Institute of Occupational Health, Academic Medical Center, University of Amsterdam, Netherlands Center for Occupational Diseases, Amsterdam, The Netherlands
  2. 2NIHR Greater Manchester Primary Care Patient Safety Translational Research Centre, Centre for Primary Care, Institute of Population Health, University of Manchester, Manchester, UK
  3. 3Arbouw, Harderwijk, The Netherlands
  1. Correspondence to Henk F van der Molen, Coronel Institute of Occupational Health, Academic Medical Center, University of Amsterdam, Netherlands Center for Occupational Diseases, P.O. Box 22700, Amsterdam 1100 DE, The Netherlands; h.f.vandermolen{at}


Objective To estimate incidence and trends in incidence of occupational diseases (ODs) in the Dutch construction sector.

Methods In a dynamic prospective cohort over a 5-year period (2010–2014), ODs assessed by occupational physicians (OPs) participating in a voluntary construction workers health surveillance (WHS) were reported to the Netherlands Centre for Occupational Diseases (NCOD). ODs were defined as a disease with a specific clinical diagnosis (International Classification of Diseases) that was predominantly caused by work-related factors as assessed by an OP. Annual incidences were determined for the total number of ODs and six frequently occurring OD groups. Trends in incidence were estimated using a multilevel negative binominal regression model.

Results In 2014 the incidence of all OD was 12 964 per 100 000 workers and there was no significant change in incidence between 2010 and 2014 (3%; 95% CI −2% to +9%). Hearing loss (8125 per 100 000 workers) and musculoskeletal disorders (2081 per 100 000 workers) were the most frequently occurring ODs. Noise-induced hearing loss (+7%; 95% CI 1% to 13%) and contact dermatitis (+19%; 95% CI 6% to 33%) showed increasing trends. There was no statistically significant change in the incidence of low back pain, arthrosis, repetitive strain injuries, distress/burnout and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease/asthma.

Conclusions In total, 13% of workers participating in WHS in the Dutch construction industry during 2014 had an OD diagnosed and reported by an OP. Over a 5-year period the annual incidence of reported ODs showed a statistically non-significant increase. Incidences in noise-induced hearing loss and contact dermatitis showed statistically significant increasing trends, 7% and 19%, respectively.

  • Occupational Diseases

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