Our Norwegian colleagues at the Norwegian Labour Inspectorate, Yogi Samant, Hans Magne Gravseth and Tonje Strømholm recently published an article in the Journal of Agromedicine. It is based on our sentinel event registry for work-related diseases and may be of interest to other Modernet members. So please find here the abstract and the pdf of the article.

Yogindra Samant,Oddfrid Aas,Robert Ekle,Hans M Gravseth &Tonje Strømholm Physician Notified Work-Related Diseases Among Farmers in Norway: Data from 2007 – 2016 Journal of Agromedicine

Farming in Norway

ABSTRACT

Introduction: This study provided a profile of work-related diseases in the farming sector notified by physicians to the Norwegian Labor Inspection Authority’s (NLIA) Registry for Work-Related Diseases (RAS) over a 10-year period.

Methods: Data for the occupational code “farmers” were extracted from RAS for the period 2007–2016. We performed a descriptive analysis to obtain frequency, percentage, and incidence distribution of the data. We also explored the relationship of the notified diagnosis with gender, age, occupational exposures and the type of reporting physicians.

Results: Four hundred and sixty-nine cases of work-related diseases among farmers were notified in the period 2007–2016. Eighty-seven percent of the reported cases were males. The incidence of work-related diseases for the entire study period was computed to be 114/100 000 workers. The incidence and number of cases notified were highest among males and for the age group 55–74 years. Noise was the most frequently reported occupational exposure accounted for 291 cases. Hearing loss constituted for 62% of the notified cases, followed by respiratory diseases that accounted for 20% of the cases. Forty-eight cases of skin diseases, while only a few cases of musculoskeletal (n = 7) and mental disorders (n = 1) were notified. There was a strong association (λ = 0.51) between occupational exposure and notified diagnosis and a moderate association (λ = 0.32) between type of reporting physician and the notified diagnosis.

Conclusion: This profile of the physician notified work-related diseases among farmers in Norway yielded a suppressed estimate of the actual incidence of cases. The biased distribution of nature and number of work-related diseases amongst farmers is primarily attributed to the significant undercount of cases. Physician underreporting of cases to the NLIA coupled with lack of Occupational Health Services coverage of workers in the farming sector contributes to this undercount of cases.

KEYWORDS: Farmers, occupational health, work-related diseases, underreporting