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With the present study, we aimed to determine the occurrence of temporary work disability within 12 months in a large German chemical company. Furthermore, we assessed the association of sociodemographic and health-related factors with work disability.We used cross-sectional data, surveyed in occupational health checks-ups between January 2011 and December 2014 at the Ludwigshafen site (Germany). A blood sample, physical examination, anamnesis by a physician and a written questionnaire were part of the health check-up. Work disability in the year prior to participation was assessed using a single (categorical) item from the Work-Ability-Index. We used partial proportional odds models for ordinal response variables to assess the association of sociodemographic and health-related factors with work disability.Altogether, 17 351 employees participated in the voluntary health check-up. Excluding 386 persons with missing information and trainees, a final sample of 16 965 persons was yielded. Respondents were on average 43.7 (SD: 9.7) years old and predominantly male (79.0%). About one third (32.8%) did not miss a single day, 40.8% up to nine days, 18.5% 10–24 days, 6.8% 25–99 days, and 1.1% 100 days or more. The proportion of respondents being unable to work for ≥10 days in the last 12 months was comparatively high for older persons (31.8%; 50+years) vs younger persons (22.6%; <30 years), manual workers (40.1%) vs managerial staff (8.3%), rotating shift workers (38.9%) vs day workers (21.9%), obese (38.1%) vs non-obese people (19.6%), and smokers (35.3%) vs non-smokers (20.6%). In multivariable analyses, missing ≥10 days was significantly more likely for older respondents, females, manual workers and skilled/supervisory workers (vs. managerial staff), rotating shift workers, obese people, and for smokers and former smokers (vs. non-smokers).The findings of the present study could be considered a starting point for the implementation of targeted preventive measures to reduce work disability.