The number of women’s certified occupational diseases has almost doubled in 2020, reaching 10,240 cases, of which 8,518 are musculoskeletal disorders, reported the CGTP.
According to updated data from Social Security, provided to the trade union central, last year 2,476 occupational diseases without disability and another 7,764 occupational diseases with disability were certified.
In 2019, 1,198 occupational diseases without disability and 4,447 with disability were certified, totaling 5,645 cases.
Thus, in 2020, the number of occupational diseases with incapacity among female workers increased by 74.5% compared to the previous year.
The majority of occupational diseases certified to women last year were related to musculoskeletal disorders, 1,617 without disability and 6,901 with disability, followed by neurological disorders, with 419 cases without disability and 767 with disability.
Between 50 and 54 years of age there were a greater number of cases, with 521 occupational diseases without disability and 1,954 with disability.
Manufacturing Industries, followed by Human Health and Social Support Activities, are the sectors with the highest number of occupational diseases among women (58% of the total).
In 2020, 1,032 occupational diseases without disability and 3,079 diseases with disability were certified for men, that is, a total of 4,111.
These data, which the Lusa agency had access to, were provided by Social Security to the CGTP to be discussed at the 8th National Conference of the Commission for Equality between Women and Men (CIMH), which takes place on June 2nd in Lisbon.
Regarding the World Day for Women’s Health, which is celebrated today, the coordinator of the CIMH, Fátima Messias, stressed to Lusa that, contrary to what happens in relation to work-related accidents, the existence of health problems related to work it is more frequent among women than among men, especially from the age of 50 onwards, “due to the pressure and intensity of the work rhythms”.
“Furthermore, work stress is becoming more and more frequent in many workplaces, whose most common causes are related to precariousness and insecurity at work, long hours, excessive workload and insufficient number of workers, but mental illnesses are not yet part of the list of occupational diseases in Portugal”, said the union member, who is part of the CGTP executive committee.
According to Fátima Messias, mental illnesses “tend to grow in this phase of pandemic and the growing participation of women in digitalized work, creating psychosocial risks for women and increasing work-related stress.”
For the CIMH of the CGTP “it is urgent to develop a National Action Plan, integrating the Department of Protection against Occupational Risks (DPRP), the General Directorate of Health (DGS) and the ACT, which includes effective measures to combat risks professionals and the contributions of trade union organizations, namely: the reduction of exposure times, the reduction of work cadences, the institutionalization of regular breaks in the work period, the reduction of hours without loss of salary and the prohibition of extending the working day. work”.
According to a study by the CGTP, which will be debated at the June 2nd National Conference, more than 80% of workers were in the second quarter of 2020 exposed, in the workplace, to factors that can affect physical health and 7, 8% of the total had some health problem caused by their work.
Repetitive hand and arm movements were the physical risk factor most frequently reported by women (74% of the total), followed by exposure to activities that require intense visual concentration (57%), to tiring or painful positions (56 %), noise (about 30%), handling heavy loads (28%), slips, trips and falls (27%), exposure to chemicals, dust, vapors, fumes or gases (26%) .
According to the analysis, prepared by the CGTP Study Office, based on data from INE, in the same quarter of 2020, around 55% of working women were exposed to risk factors for mental health in their workplace.
Strong deadline pressure or work overload was the mental risk factor most frequently mentioned by women workers (45% of the total), followed by contact with problematic but non-violent people, namely clients, patients, students (40% of the workers).