UBC Theses and Dissertations

UBC Theses Logo

UBC Theses and Dissertations

Occupational diseases in British Columbia : frequency, distribution and implications for prevention Husman, Kaj Risto Henrik


The main objective of this study was to assist in the prevention of occupational diseases (OD1s) in British Columbia by providing information concerning accepted wage-loss claims for OD's in B.C. To achieve this objective, data in the Workers' Compensation Board's OD Register was analyzed by extraction, classification and tabulation of accepted wage-loss claims for OD's during the period 1978-1982, by diagnosis, number of cases, rate, type of exposure, age, sex, individual year and industrial subclass. Also, a model for regular annual reporting of registered OD's in B.C. was developed. To collect and analyze the data, an updated exposure classification was developed. It was observed that OD's caused by physical factors such as ultraviolet radiation, repetitive motion, noise and friction and pressure were most common in B.C., representing 63% of the total of 19,622 OD cases during 1978-1982. Among the top ten causes of OD's are also chemical and biological agents ("cleaning compounds", "other chemicals", "other alkalies", "animals and insects", "acids" and "cement and mortar"). The OD rates per 1,000 manyears of employment were increasing during 1978-1981 and the small drop in 1982 is probably related to the economic depression in B.C. The highest OD risk industries (measured by OD incidence rate/1,000 manyears) were: "construction and repair of small vessels" (39.8), "shingle and shake mills" (37.5), and "bakeries and manufacturing of food products" (17.6). It was concluded that these results indicated clearly that preventive actions should be improved in B.C. to decrease the number of workers who annually suffer from OD's. It is suggested that occupational health services (OHS) would help to achieve this goal, through expanding and making more efficient and effective education, regulation and services concerning OD prevention.

Item Media

Item Citations and Data


For non-commercial purposes only, such as research, private study and education. Additional conditions apply, see Terms of Use https://open.library.ubc.ca/terms_of_use.