When an employee becomes ill because of something they were exposed to at the workplace, this is identified as an occupational disease. These types of diseases typically require the employer to award benefits to their employee in order to cover the cost of medical care and time off work. These cases often necessitate skilled litigators and investigators in order to see that employees get their rightful compensation. There are many types of diseases that can be contracted at the workplace, but listed below are some of the most common.
Occupational Lung Disease
Many diseases are transmitted by way of inhalation, for this reason, many workers contract lung diseases. Those employees who work in manufacturing and industrial environments are particularly at risk for developing these types of diseases. One of the rarer, but also the most serious lung conditions is mesothelioma or other asbestos related diseases. Employers are responsible for ensuring the safety and wellbeing of their employees as much as is reasonably possible. Asbestos is a substance that has been phased out and tightly controlled since the late 1980s.Those workers who develop an asbestos related disease may be able to take action against their employers for failing to remediate asbestos from the environment and failing to provide their workers with the proper protective gear. Other occupational lung diseases are pneumothorax, pleural effusions and pleural plaques. While some of these are not deadly, they may be indicators of more serious lung conditions that could develop at a later time. Occupational lung diseases are notorious for having long latency periods, which means that symptoms are not discovered typically until about 30 years after initial exposure.
Skin Conditions & Repetitive Strain Injuries
Another way that workers can become exposed to harmful substances is through the skin. Skin diseases are common in workers who frequently deal with hazardous materials or potentially harmful chemicals on a consistent basis. Eczema is the most commonly-developed skin condition among workers. This is not life-threatening, but may require continued medical treatment. More serious skin conditions may also develop, such as skin cancer. There are other conditions that are lesser known and emphasized in the working world. For example, repetitive strain injuries are typically viewed as "normal wear and tear" while they could actually indicate a workplace illness or injury. One example of this is carpal tunnel syndrome. Workers who are exposed to computer screens for long hours at a time may also develop what is known as computer vision syndrome, which could potentially cause early blindness.
To learn more about occupational illnesses and to see if you may be entitled to compensation, please contact the Sam L. Jenkins Law Firm.
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