What is an occupational disease?

An occupational disease is a disease that has its determining cause in a professional activity. 

Occupational diseases are generally persistent conditions, i.e., impairments in work capacity, suffered by specific workers or groups of workers as a result of their work activity. They are conditions that would not occur, or at least not in the same way, if persons had not been exposed to the type of work they were doing. They are the direct consequence of a more or less prolonged exposure to a physical, chemical or microbial risk or to specific working conditions such as noise, vibrations, working postures, etc., to which people are subject in their usual occupations. 

How to get an occupational disease recognised?

An occupational disease can be recognized in two ways: 

  • a disease is presumed to have its origin in a person’s occupation when it is listed in the table of occupational diseases and is contracted as a result of exposure to a specific risk at work. If you prove that you are suffering from an occupational disease listed in the table and that you were exposed to a risk while working with insurance, the disease is presumed to be of occupational origin (a closed system); 
  • the law also allows the accident insurance to cover an occupational disease not listed in the table as long as you clearly demonstrate that the determining cause of the disease originates with a person’s occupation (an open system).


1 – Diseases caused by chemical agents 
11 – Metals and metalloids 
11 01  Diseases caused by lead or its compounds 
11 02  Diseases caused by mercury or its compounds 
11 03  Diseases caused by chromium or its compounds 
11 04  Diseases caused by cadmium or its compounds 
11 05  Diseases caused by manganese or its compounds 
11 06  Diseases caused by thallium or its compounds 
11 07  Diseases caused by vanadium or its compounds 
11 08  Diseases caused by arsenic or its compounds 
11 09  Diseases caused by phosphorus or its inorganic compounds 
11 10  Diseases caused by beryllium or its compounds 
2 – Asphyxiating gases
12 01  Diseases caused by carbon monoxide 
12 02  Diseases caused by hydrogen sulphide 
13 – Solvents, pesticides and other chemicals 
13 01  Mucosal diseases, cancers or other urinary tract neoformations caused by aromatic amines 
13 02  Diseases caused by halogenated hydrocarbons 
13 03  Diseases caused by benzol, its homologues and styrene 
13 04  Diseases caused by nitro or amino compounds of benzol or its homologues or derivatives thereof 
13 05  Diseases caused by carbon sulphide 
13 06  Diseases caused by methanol 
13 07  Diseases caused by organic phosphorus compounds 
13 08  Diseases caused by fluorine or its compounds 
13 09  Diseases caused by nitric esters 
13 10  Diseases caused by halogenated derivatives of alkyl-, aryl- or alkyl aryloxides 
13 14  Conditions due to p-tertiary butyl phenol 
13 15  Diseases caused by isocyanates 
13 16  Dimethylformamide liver diseases 
13 17  Polyneuropathy or encephalopathy by organic solvents and their mixtures 
13 18  Diseases of the blood, hematopoietic and lymphatic systems by benzene. 
With regard to Nos. 11 01 to 11 10, 12 01 and 12 02, 13 03 to 13 09 and 13 15: skin diseases are excepted, although they are included in the table only when they are symptoms of a general disease caused by the intake of harmful agents by the body or when they are compensable under No. 51 01 
2 – Diseases caused by physical agents 
21- -Mechanical effects 
21 01  Diseases of the synovial sheaths or peritendinous tissue and tendon or muscle insertions which have required the discontinuance of any activity which was or may be causally related to the origin, aggravation or recurrence of the disease 
21 02  Injuries to meniscus due to overuse of knee joints after prolonged exposure over several years or frequent repetitive exposure 
21 03  Conditions caused by vibration of pneumatic or similarly acting tools 
21 04  Circulatory disorders in the hands due to vibrations and having required the abandonment of all activities that were or may be causally related to the origin, aggravation or recurrence of the disease 
21 05  Chronic diseases of the bursa by prolonged local pressure 
21 06  Nerve paralysis due to prolonged local pressure 
21 07  Fractures of the vertebral spinous processes 
21 08  Pronounced abrasion of teeth by silica dust 
21 09  Gonarthrosis caused by kneeling or comparable loading of the knee after a cumulative lifetime exposure of at least 13,000 hours and a minimum exposure of one hour per workstation and requiring cessation of all activities which were or may be causally related to the origin, aggravation or recurrence of the disease 
22 – Compressed air 
22 01  Diseases caused by working with compressed air 
23 – Noise
23 01 Occupational noise-induced hearing loss consisting of at least 40% hearing loss
24 – Rayons
24 01 Cataracte due au rayonnement thermique
24 02 Maladies provoquées par les rayons ionisants
3 – Maladies professionnelles infectieuses ou parasitaires ainsi que les maladies tropicales
31 01 Maladies infectieuses, si l’assuré travaille dans un établissement ou un service s’occupant de la prophylaxie, du diagnostic et du traitement des maladies contagieuses, ou si l’assuré est particulièrement exposé à des risques similaires de contagion, en raison de son activité professionnelle
31 02 Maladies transmissibles des animaux à l’homme
31 03 Maladies parasitaires des mineurs par ankylostome duodénal ou anguillule intestinale
31 04 Maladies tropicales, fièvre pourprée
4 – Diseases caused by mineral dusts
41 – Diseases caused by inorganic dusts
41 01  Silicosis 
41 02  Silicosis in association with pulmonary tuberculosis 
41 03  Asbestosis or asbestos dust disease of the pleura 
41 04  Lung cancer and cancer of the larynx in association with asbestosis, in association with a pleural lesion or where the effect of a cumulative occupational asbestos fibre dose of at least 25 fibre years [(25 x 106 fibres/m3) x years] is established 
41 05  Mesothelioma of the pleura, peritoneum or pericardium caused by asbestos 
41 06  Diseases of the deep respiratory tract or lungs caused by aluminium or its compounds 
41 07  Pulmonary fibrosis caused by hard metal dusts during the manufacture or processing of these metals 
41 08  Deep airway and lung diseases by Thomas slag 
41 09  Neoformations of the respiratory tract and lungs by nickel or its compounds 
41 10  Lung cancer caused by crystalline silicon dioxide (Si02) in association with established silicosis or silico-tuberculosis 
41 11  Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon-induced lung cancer where a cumulative dose effect of at least 100 benzo[a]pyrene years [(µg/m 3) x years] is established. 
41 12  Lung cancer caused by the interaction of asbestos dust and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons where the effect of a cumulative dose which is likely to cause the disease with at least a 50% probability according to the annexed table is established 
41 13  Pulmonary fibrosis caused by extreme and prolonged exposure to welding fumes and gases (siderofibrosis) 
42 – Diseases caused by organic dusts
42 01  Extrinsic allergic alveolitis requiring cessation of all activities that have been or may be causally related to the origin, aggravation or recurrence of the disease 
42 03  Adenocarcinoma of the nasal cavities and fossae due to wood dusts 
43 – Obstructive airway diseases
43 01  Obstructive airway diseases (including rhinitis) caused by allergenic substances which have required the cessation of all activities which have been or may be causally related to the origin, aggravation or recurrence of the disease 
43 02  Obstructive diseases of the respiratory tract caused by chemically irritating or toxic substances which have required the abandonment of all activities which have been or may be causally related to the origin, aggravation or recurrence of the disease 
5 – Skin conditions
51 01  Severe or recurrent skin conditions which have required discontinuation of any activity which was or may be causally related to the origin, aggravation or recurrence of the disease 
51 02  Skin neoformations or cancers after handling and using lampblack, heavy paraffin, coal tar, anthracene, resins or other carcinogenic substances 
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Who should report the occupational disease and how soon?

Doctors are responsible for reporting occupational diseases to the Accident Insurance Association as soon as they have a well-founded suspicion that an illness has its determining cause in the insured professional activity. 

If a report is made, they submit a copy of it to patients. 

If doctors fail to report the disease, the insured persons may claim compensation for an occupational disease, on pain of forfeiture, within one year from the day on which they became aware of the occupational origin of the disease. 

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