Prevent occupational diseases - responsibilities

Career and privacy in view

If a condition leads to frequent sicknesses or even chronic illnesses, a change in the workplace may be required. Even if it is not a defined occupational disease, occupational physicians could achieve better prevention of occupational diseases, Letzel pleads.

Finally, occupational physicians have around 39 million people working in Germany in view and ideally see the specific work situation as well as the individual resilience and the private environment.

Protection against occupational diseases

Anyone who can no longer or only partially work in Germany for health reasons is covered multiple times. Only diseases or accidents caused directly by the profession are considered to be occupational diseases - the law currently knows 77. The BGs can then provide for rehabilitation, retraining or even retirement, taking into account the legal requirements and depending on the individual case of illness.

Protection against widespread diseases and reduced earning capacity

On the other hand, if the conditions required by law to recognize a disease as an occupational disease are not satisfied, the health insurance covers the costs of the treatment and also the sickness benefit. If the person concerned can no longer return to work and applies for disability pension, it will be a case for the statutory pension insurance. If necessary, she also pays rehabilitation and retraining.

A pension for full reduction in earning capacity is only available if the person concerned can no longer work at least three hours a day in any job. These are generally worse conditions than the previous disability pension. For this reason, employees starting from the year 1961 should additionally be covered by a private insurance against reduction in earning capacity.


The best remedy for one-sided stress at work is appropriate exercise such as walking, jogging, swimming and cycling. In addition, it sometimes helps to relieve unilateral stress through changes in attitude or during work breaks. We have put together tips to prevent unilateral stress in the workplace.

Tips for frequent standing

  • Wear comfortable flat shoes, but at the same time provide the foot with good support.
  • Move as much as possible.

Frequent change of posture

  • Use standing aid frames that enable a change between upright and ajar or sitting posture.
  • Stimulate your blood circulation, for example, by gently rocking and rolling between heel and ball of the foot.

Movement despite a lot of sitting

Anyone who sits a lot, but still has a number of activities that can be done standing, as open or post office phone.

  • Go to a colleague instead of talking on the phone and get on with it.
  • Perform meetings even once standing.
  • Bring office supplies and work documents or even printers and faxes in other rooms and thus ensure movement in the workday.
  • Relieve your back with regular short breaks with exercise (special exercises are recommended).
  • You may be able to put a standing desk in the office for some work.
  • Occasionally, bob up and down while thinking, as this stimulates the little gray cells better than "sitting out" a problem.
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