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Occupational Diseases

In Germany, the statutory accident insurance has been serving since 1885 as a coverage for employees against occupational risks, which are directly associated with their insured occupation.

With validity from January 1, 1997 the law of the statutory accident insurance has been newly codified in the Seventh Book of the Social Code (in German: Sozialgesetzbuch - SGB VII).

Article 9 (1) SGB VII defines the term "occupational diseases" and displays the accreditation for the legislator to acceptilate the German Ordinance on Occupational Diseases.

Occupational diseases as per article 9 (1) SGB VII are defined as:

  • diseases, which have been designated as occupational diseases by the Federal Government with consent of the Bundesrat, and which
  • the insurants
  • suffer from in the result of their insurance-covered occupation.

The Federal Government is authorized to designate as occupational diseases only those diseases that

  • according to the findings of medical science
  • are caused by particular influences, to which
  • certain groups of people are exposed because of their insurance-covered occupation to a considerably greater extend than the general population.

These diseases are enlisted in the annex to the German Ordinance on Occupational Diseases.

The German Ordinance on Occupational Diseases from October 31, 1997 [in German: Berufskrankheiten-Verordnung - (BKV)] (source: Bundesgesetzblatt I, p. 2623) was last amended by the 3rd Ordinance amending the Ordinance on Occupational Diseases [in German: Dritte Verordnung zur Änderung der Berufskrankheiten-Verordnung] of December 22, 2014 (source: Bundesgesetzblatt I, p. 2397).

The list of occupational diseases can be downloaded below.

As per article 9 (2) SGB VII a disease has to be recognized and compensated as an occupational disease, if, after new conclusions of the medical sciences, all other pre-conditions of article 9 (1) SGB VII are fulfilled, but the disease has not been enumerated in the list of occupational diseases yet.

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