An occupational disease is a disease likely to have been caused principally by a
- chemical; or
factor at work. Illnesses due to psychological factors are not compensable as occupational diseases.
An occupational disease is compensable by the insurance company underwriting the workers’ compensation insurance, provided by the employer at the time when the occupational disease manifested. On the date of manifestation, if the injured person is no longer performing the work that may have caused the occupational disease, compensation liability is determined on the basis of the work in the course of which exposure primarily occurred.
The Occupational Disease Decree contains a list of the most common illnesses considered to be occupational diseases and the factors causing them, i.e. the exposure agents. The list is neither exhaustive nor limitative, and even illnesses not referred to in the Decree can be compensable as occupational diseases, if causality between the illness and an exposure factor defined in the legislation and present at work can be established with sufficient probability.
The most common occupational diseases include acoustic traumas, respiratory allergies, skin diseases, asbestos illnesses and strain injuries in upper limbs. The Finnish Institute of Occupational Health publishes annual statistics on compensated occupational diseases and illnesses suspected to be occupational diseases.