van Guldener VR, Bellamy L, Chambon M, Manuel HJ, Melssen NZM, Proper KI
RIVM Report 2017-0022
It is estimated that about 4,100 people die every year from conditions related to their work. Better insights into the causes of the occurrence of occupational diseases creates opportunities for recognising them earlier and more effectively. Preventive measures can then be taken based on that information. It transpired that an RIVM research model that creates a picture of the underlying causes of severe work-related accidents (Storybuilder) could also be used for occupational diseases. It is recommended that the knowledge obtained from this exploratory work should be checked by professionals from the field to get a picture of its value for practice and policy.
An occupational disease is an illness that people have contracted primarily as a result of their work or the conditions at their work. An example could be mesotheliomas caused by working with asbestos.
RIVM examined 20 dossiers for this exploratory study: 10 case files of people with OPS (organic psychosyndrome) / CTE (chronic toxic encephalopathy) and 10 case files of people with irreversible back complaints. It turned out to be possible to use Storybuilder to get a picture of existing case studies. The first Storybuilder models of the two occupational diseases are described in the report, but this working method has not yet been validated or discussed with professionals from the field. The researchers also observed that the dossiers studied do not contain all the information needed to give a complete factual description of how the occupational conditions arise.
It is recommended that an inventory should be made of additional information sources for the information that is as yet missing. If this succeeds, it will be possible to carry out studies in greater depth with the Storybuilder models for occupational diseases and if possible extend them to other types of occupational diseases.