Occupational and para-occupational illnesses in the amended version of the Labour Cod

 In Poland the concept of an occupational illness is based solely on the list of occupational illnesses caused by the negative infl uence of working conditions on the worker’s organism. That means it is not possible to go beyond the burdens set by the list and to extend the protection over the instances established in a diff erent mode than the issuance of a high-rank normative act (statute, executive regulations). However, it is not the only condition, because not only must the illness be included in the list but also it is necessary to prove (indisputably or with the great probability) the occupational character of an illness. The concept of an occupational illness was therefore construed according to a restrictive method of the list, burdened additionally with the requirement to prove the occupational character of an illness, which substantially limits the scope of the legal protection of workers suff ering from occupational illnesses. Another social problem is a small amount of consideration received from the social insurance for occupational illnesses. It should be noted there are also para-occupational illnesses, which are not included in the statutory list of occupational illnesses, but whose relation to harmful work environment or working conditions reducing biological immunity of the worker’s organism is undisputable or proven with the great probability. Therefore, we should advocate adoption of an open concept of occupational illnesses and abolition of a method based on the closed list of occupational illnesses. In case of the open construction of occupational illness with the help of a mixed method, the basis for compensation should be – besides extended list of occupational illnesses based on implied causality between occupational exposure and occupational illnesses – for para-occupational illnesses the existence of a harmful factor in the work environment and the causality between the factor and the detriment to health sustained by the aggrieved person.

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