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Occupational Illness or Injury at Work

If you developed an illness or disease related to your job, you should consult with a Sacramento Workers’ Compensation Attorney about your benefits. Our lawyers at Sacramento Workers’ Compensation Attorneys, P.C. can help you understand occupational illness or injury, the most common types of occupational illnesses, examples of occupational diseases, and the types of injuries and illnesses covered by workers’ compensation. If you think your health is suffering because of your employment, get in touch with us now so we can explain your legal options.

What is an occupational illness or injury?

Occupational illness or injury is any health problem that developed from your job or employment. Exposure to toxic chemicals, working in a hazardous and unsafe condition, or repetitive trauma to joints and muscles can cause occupational illnesses.

Unsafe conditions can lead to diseases and illness development. For example, prolonged exposure to asbestos at work can cause mesothelioma. Mesothelioma is a rare cancer type that destroys the inner layer of the internal organs, especially the lungs and chest wall.

Mineworkers have a higher risk of developing respiratory diseases like pneumoconiosis. Pneumoconiosis is a lung disease caused by prolonged exposure to dust particles in the air.

Workers in the manufacturing, construction, packaging, and textile industries are at risk of developing joint problems caused by repetitive motions.

It often takes a long time to develop a disease related to a particular occupational illness. Some people even develop occupational illnesses decades after exposure to hazardous conditions. Proving the connection between your disease and your employment may be difficult.

What is the most commonly reported type of occupational illness?

According to the CDC or Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the most common type of occupational illness is allergies and skin dermatitis. Skin conditions make up about 15% to 20% of the total reported occupational illnesses and diseases.

Respiratory diseases are the second most common type of occupational illness. In fact, the CDC estimates that about 30% of chronic obstructive pulmonary diseases, like emphysema, bronchitis, and adult asthma, may be related to exposure to hazardous chemicals and fumes at work. Infertility and pregnancy abnormalities due to chemical exposure are also common occupational illnesses. 

What are some examples of occupational diseases?

Some examples of occupational diseases include:

  • Lung cancer – miners, coal workers, and those who work with asbestos
  • Hearing loss – construction industry, call centers, manufacturing plants with loud machine noises
  • Tennis elbow or lateral epicondylitis – construction and landscape industries
  • Tetanus and rabies – animal control workers
  • Skin dermatitis and allergies – janitorial industry and workers who regularly handle chemicals
  • Infectious diseases: tuberculosis, HIV, and hepatitis B and C viruses – healthcare industry, social service workers, laboratory workers
  • Back problems: low back pain, herniated disc, slipped disc, and bulging disc – construction industry and warehouse workers
  • Repetitive motion injury: arthritis – desk job, line workers, construction, manufacturing, and packaging industries 

What types of injuries and illnesses are covered by workers’ compensation?

As an employee, you are entitled to receive workers’ compensation benefits for your injuries sustained at work. These include work-related accidents like falling off a faulty ladder, getting a part of your body caught in a machine, getting splashed with a toxic chemical, and slip and fall accidents.

You’re also entitled to receive benefits if you can’t work due to repetitive motion injury and overuse injuries. These are very common among line workers, those who work all day performing repetitive tasks, or those who work long hours at their desks.

You can also collect workers’ compensation benefits if you developed an illness or acquired a disease at work. This includes pulmonary infections caused by inhaling dangerous fumes and dust, contracting an infectious disease while working in the laboratory or hospital, or developing skin problems while working with hazardous chemicals.

If your employment worsened a pre-existing medical condition, you can file a workers’ compensation claim. For example, if a back injury sustained at work aggivates your scoliosis.

What can you do?

To claim your workers’ compensation benefits, you have to prove your injuries and illnesses are directly related to your employment. However, establishing the relationship between your medical problems and work can be tricky. If you need help, visit Sacramento Workers’ Compensation Attorneys P.C. We can help you understand the different types of injuries and illnesses covered by workers’ compensation, some examples of occupational diseases and illnesses, the most commonly reported types of occupational illnesses, and what an occupational illness or injury is. Give one of our Sacramento workers’ compensation attorneys a call or send us a message through our website.