05 August 1995 00:00 [Source: ICB]
THE NUMBER of registered asbestos-related illnesses among Germany's chemical industry workers is increasing, according to the industry's liability insurance association, Berufsgenossenschaft Chemie (BG Chemie).
The number of cases suspected to be asbestos-related rose 43% to 888 in 1994 against 617 in 1993. Compensation was paid to 281 workers. However, the trend is due to greater efforts to diagnose and deal with asbestos exposure in the past, said the insurers, and the incidence of new asbestos related diseases, particularly cancer, appears to be falling.
Excluding asbestos, there are considerably fewer work-related cases of disease in the German chemical industry, said BG Chemie.
The industry's accident rate fell 1.6% to 27.5/1000 workers in 1994 compared with 1993 - 70% lower than the rate at the beginning of the 1970s. The number of fatal injuries fell 21% to 22 in 1994 of which only two were directly related to chemical processes.
Because of the lack of a common procedure for reporting accidents, it is impossible to say how German industry's record compares with that in other European countries.
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