Social Distribution of Occupational Hazards

Living reference work entry
Part of the Handbook Series in Occupational Health Sciences book series (HDBSOHS)


In the present chapter, an overview of the social distribution of major occupational hazards is provided. To this end, the prevalence and/or incidence rates of selected chemical, physical, and organizational hazards across occupational categories are presented. The chapter focuses on chemical substances related to cancer and allergic reactions; physical hazards such as noise, biomechanical forces, and ultraviolet radiation; and organizational hazards related to job demands, decision latitude, working time arrangements, and leadership. In addition, several mediators and moderators of exposure to occupational hazards are discussed which encompass occupational inequalities of hazard control, simultaneous exposure to multiple hazards, and behaviors and attitudes toward safety procedures. The chapter ends with some concluding remarks for future research and practice.


Occupational hazards Health inequalities Chemical, physical, and psychosocial hazards Working conditions 


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Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Medical SociologyInstitute of the History, Philosophy and Ethics of Medicine, Ulm UniversityUlmGermany

Section editors and affiliations

  • Morten Wahrendorf
    • 1
  • Jian Li
    • 2
  1. 1.Institute of Medical Sociology, Centre of Health and Society (CHS)Heinrich-Heine-University Düsseldorf, Medical FacultyDüsseldorfGermany
  2. 2.Fielding School of Public Health, School of NursingUniversity of California Los AngelesLos AngelesUSA

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