Occupational Disease
Occupational Disease

Occupational Disease: Risk factors, Types, List, and Prevention

Occupational diseases are health problems experienced by a person due to routine or exposure to certain substances at work. There are different types of occupational diseases, and each has a different trigger or cause.

Occupational illnesses are important to know, because many people are not aware that the complaints they experience are the impact of their daily work. To find out more about occupational diseases, check out the following review.

Risk factors of occupational disease

Risk factors for occupational diseases are potential hazards in the workplace including:

  • Physical exposure (noise, extreme temperature of heat or cold, radiation and vibration)
  • Biological exposure (bacteria, viruses, fungi, parasites).
  • Chemical exposure (solvents), mercury, pesticides, heavy metals, etc.)
  • Ergonomic exposure (load factor / manual handling), repetitive movements, awkward positions, tool design and improper work area layout.
  • Psychosocial exposure (workload, relationships between co-workers) occurs due to an imbalance between individual capacities related to psychosocial stressors.

Types of occupational disease

There are various diseases that arise due to the risk of working. Based on the cause, Here are the classified occupational diseases into the following 4 types.


There are many physical causes that result in occupational illness, especially if you don’t work in an office. Here are some common physical causes:

  • Radiation.
  • Incorrect or continuous movement.
  • Noise.
  • Dim lighting.
  • High air pressure.


Infectious diseases can come from work. There are various diseases as well caused by the work environment. Among others bacteria, viruses, fungi, and parasites. Especially for those of you who work in the food section, such as agriculture or livestock.

However, in some other circumstances, the infection can spread unexpectedly. For example, in the midst of a pandemic, many people contract the coronavirus through their offices or places where they work.


Not only factory workers, people who work directly in contact with chemicals can experience disease due to the following.

  • Chemicals.
  • Dust & Steam.


Often neglected, work or work environment can also cause mental illness. Here are some causes that can trigger mental illness to develop.

  • Lack of work-life balance.
  • Toxic work environment.

List of occupational disease

Complaints caused by occupational diseases can be avoided if you understand the cause and change your habits while working. The following are examples of occupational diseases and their explanations:

Lungs and respiratory tract disease

Dust is often used as an indicator of air cleanliness. This is because dust floating in the air can result in respiratory diseases. People who work in dusty places such as building projects and coal mining, and others are susceptible to respiratory diseases. This is because every day it breathes dust.

Hearing disorder

This disease can be caused by a noisy work environment. Either noise because of the engine, or because of other things that can cause noise.

Diseases due to poisoning

Poisoning can occur in people who work as chemical analysts, or who are daily related to chemicals. What’s more, people who work directly deal with industrial waste. Poisoning can be caused by heavy metal substances such as cadmium, mercury, lead, and others.


Asthma is one of the occupational diseases that occur quite often, considering the cause can be spread in various sectors of work. Asthma that attacks workers in the form of new diseases. However, the condition may also be a recurrence condition that has just arisen due to exposure to certain materials at work.

Asthma symptoms can be felt suddenly, usually caused by irritants such as chlorine, dust, and smoke. Usually, this disease affects workers in the paper processing industry, construction workers, and firefighters.

Meanwhile, chronic asthma or those that will still be detected up to 2 years after exposure are usually caused by bioaerosols, latex, plants and animals, chemicals from paint. This disease is generally experienced by health workers, farmers and breeders, to painters.

More lists

Occupational Disease Prevention

Prevention of occupational diseases includes elimination (eliminating risky exposure sources), substitution (replacing with safer materials), technical control (restrictions, ventilation and air conditioning arrangements), administrative (periodic health checks), safe working procedures (examples: how to lift weights properly, etc., working hours regulation, work rotation, and education to workers), personal protective equipment according to standards.

Last Updated on January 29, 2022 Reviewed by Market Health Beauty Team