We all understand that most workplace injuries are covered by workers’ compensation insurance, but you might not know of occupational diseases are covered as well. An occupational disease is a health condition or disorder that is developed during the course of performing work activities and are often the result of environmental conditions. Occupational illnesses can affect numerous areas of the body, including the lungs, muscles, and bones.
Here are some of the most common occupational illnesses:
- Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease
- Hearing loss
- Radiation illness
- Neurological disorders
- Lead poisoning
- Lung diseases
- Hand-arm vibration syndrome
- Contact dermatitis
Are Occupational Diseases Eligible for Workers’ Compensation?
If your workplace environment caused you to develop an occupational illness, you would be able to obtain workers’ compensation benefits. For example, if you are a firefighter, you might have been exposed to asbestos, which can cause mesothelioma. In order to receive workers’ compensation benefits for an occupational disease, it needs to be recognized as a common industrial injury. Generally, if the Occupational Diseases Committee states that it is likely the disease was caused by environmental factors in the workplace, you will receive these essential benefits.
That said, you might still need to be examined by your company’s doctor to determine if you are suffering from an occupational illness linked to your work environment. During this appointment, make sure to document everything, including the name of the doctor who examines you and any diagnostic tests you have done. You might also want to take a trusted friend or family member with you to witness the appointment.
Causes of Occupational Diseases and Illnesses
Unlike injuries caused by one-time incidents, occupational diseases often develop over time due to exposure to toxins or harmful chemicals.
Here are some of the most common causes of occupational diseases:
- Dust, including silica dust, crop dust, and coal dust
- Fibers, such as flock and asbestos
- Fumes created by diesel fuel and welding tools
If you believe you are suffering from an occupational disease, do not hesitate to visit a doctor as soon as possible to diagnose your condition and begin the process of obtaining workers’ compensation to cover the cost of your medical treatment and time away from work.
Schedule a Free Consultation with a Knowledgeable Workers’ Compensation Attorney Today!
If you developed an occupational disease due to environmental conditions at work, you need to reach out to an experienced workers compensation attorney to begin the process of obtaining workers’ compensation benefits. At Price, Petho & Anderson P.L.L.C., our workers’ compensation team is committed to helping injured workers secure the benefits they are entitled to. We have the insight, knowledge, and skill to walk you through every step of the process and ensure all of your questions and concerns are addressed. Do not put off seeking legal assistance!