Occupational illnesses occur when an event or exposure occurs in the workplace, resulting in the development or worsening of a medical condition. An occupational illness differs from a workplace injury but is still eligible for workers’ compensation insurance. Nobody plans on getting injured at their workplace, but remember accidents happen! There are occupations where workers are more prone to an Occupational Injury. Occupational Illnesses on the other hand, can occur in an everyday office environment and where you’d least expect it.
An illness which occurs at your job should be reported and treated by a doctor immediately. According to documents from a hearing before the US House of Representatives Committee on Education and labor, as much as 69% of workplace injuries and illnesses are not reported.
Examples of Occupational Illnesses
There are numerous illnesses that can occur due to certain work environments. Don’t let a work injury or work illness go unreported. Report it immediately to your employer and fill out a DWC-1 claim form. If you’re not sure the work illness should be reported, below are some examples of occupational illnesses.
- Asthma (most common)
- Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD)
A condition that often occurs in workers who complete repeated tasks using their wrists; such as writing or typing. Carpal tunnel is one of the most-common office injuries and can often return after treatment.
Consistently exposing your skin to the sun while working can cause serious damage and disease. Construction workers and lifeguards are just two of many occupations that can do this. Working with chemicals in manufacturing plants or cleaners expose your skin to harmful chemicals that can lead to some of the following:
- Skin cancer
- Skin infections
- Contact dermatitis
- Skin inflammation
Jobs that involve heavy and loud machinery can lead to small or even large amounts of hearing loss over time. Farming equipment, construction, airports and even music venues.
This doesn’t only apply to heat illnesses. Overexertion is one of the most common workplace illnesses and can include the following:
- Joint injuries
- Shoulder and back injuries
What to do next?
Workplace injury or illness can occur over time, but can also occur without notice. If you or a family member suffer a workplace illness it is very important that you report the situation to your employer. Maximizing your benefits from your employer is imperative to your recovery should the illness occur at work.
Raymond J. Navarro has over 25 years of California workers compensation law experience. Located in San Diego, contact Raymond for a free consultation.