ILO List of Occupational Diseases (revised 2010)

This new list of occupational diseases reflects the state-of-the-art development in the identification and recognition of occupational diseases in the world of today. It indicates clearly where prevention and protection should take place. This ILO list represents the latest worldwide consensus on diseases which are internationally accepted as caused by work. This list can serve as a model for the establishment, review and revision of national lists of occupational diseases. The world’s working population and their families will benefit from this new list.

Based on the work of two meetings of experts, the ILO Governing Body approved a new list of occupational diseases on 25 March 2010 during its 307th Session. This new list replaces the preceding one in the annex of Recommendation No. 194 which was adopted in 2002.

The new list includes a range of internationally recognized occupational diseases, from illnesses caused by chemical, physical and biological agents to respiratory and skin diseases, musculoskeletal disorders and occupational cancer. Mental and behavioural disorders have for the first time been specifi cally included in the ILO list. This list also has open items in all the sections dealing with the afore-mentioned diseases. The open items allow the recognition of the occupational origin of diseases not specified in the list if a link is established between exposure to risk factors arising from work activities and the disorders contracted by the worker.

The criteria used by the tripartite experts for deciding what specific diseases be considered in the updated list include that: there is a causal relationship with a specific agent, exposure or work process; they occur in connection with a specific work environment and/or in specific occupations; they occur among the groups of workers concerned with a frequency which exceeds the average incidence within the rest of the population; and there is scientific evidence of a clearly defined pattern of disease following exposure and plausibility of cause.