The most common are diseases that affect the hands, arms and back. But the real emerging...
2019-04-11 13:30:40
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Occupational diseases: stress is part of it

The most common are diseases that affect the hands, arms and back. But the real emerging occupational diseases, even if still reduced in terms of complaints, are those related to stress. This was reported by Inail Emilia-Romagna , which presented the activity of the integrated table on occupational diseases in Bologna, at the convention organized in the Farnese Chapel on disability and work, born three years ago. In 2017 in Emilia-Romagna complaints were presented to INAIL 6,416, which for 71.2% concern osteo-articular, limb and spine diseases, caused by incorrect postures, weight lifting and repetitive activities. To this must be added another 13.7% of diseases of the nervous system, especially carpal tunnel disorders and tendinitis. 6.5% of complaints concern hearing loss, only 3% are cancers.

"The most serious pathologies are those oncological - Daniela Bonetti of Inail Emilia-Romagna points out - but they represent a low percentage, because they are not always reported. When a tumor is diagnosed, the worker is overwhelmed by the drama of the situation and the doctor is above all focused on patient care ". Therefore, no attention is focused on the possible link between work and illness. "Many times the same worker does not think he is at risk" , underlines Bonetti. Moreover "he is not always able to reconstruct the exposure" to the carcinogenic substance, therefore also Inail "is hard to recognize the professional disease".

In the general panorama, then, 1% of complaints are represented by mental and behavioral disorders, related to stress. "It is the real emerging pathology - says Bonetti - we are not yet talking about high numbers in terms of complaints and acknowledgments. But it is the occupational disease on which attention will have to be focused in the coming years". Also because the new technologies "have improved working conditions in many areas", while the increasing stress "is linked to the type of social life that has changed in recent years". In the past, explains the Inail manager, "heart attacks and arrhythmias were recognized as symptoms of stress. Today, however, we also speak of post-traumatic disorders, for example after having suffered robberies or aggressions in the workplace". In this context, adds Bonetti, " Burnout is only the tip of the iceberg , much more widespread is malaise, discomfort and absenteeism. But on this, rather than Inail income, helps prevention".

In 2017, 6,416 complaints were presented to INAIL, down 8.6% compared to the previous year (they were 7.942 in 2013), most in the industry and services sector. At the same time, the awards from Inail are also down: there are 2,441 cases in 2017, compared to 2,858 in the previous year (they were 3,784 in 2013). Of these, 1,749 received compensation. However, after the decline in the previous five-year period, underlines Bonetti, " the signs of a new increase appear in the first months of 2019 ". The vast majority of cases concern Italian workers, 59.5% are men. The complaints are mostly from the provinces of Bologna, Reggio Emilia, Forlì-Cesena and Modena.