Occupational Induced Illness Claims
Occupational Induced Illness Workers Comp Claims
What is an Occupational Disease?
An occupational disease is any illness that is associated with a particular occupation or industry. These diseases can result from a variety of biological, chemical, physical, and psychological factors that are present in the work environment or are encountered over the course of employment. If you are suffering from an occupational disease, let’s discuss your claim to see if it may be covered by workers compensation. I have proudly and successfully helped injured workers obtain workers’ compensation benefits for more 40 years!
It’s important to note that not all illnesses or conditions that occur during employment are considered occupational diseases. To be classified as an occupational disease, injured workers must show the illness developed from the job duties and conditions of the worker’s employment. If the worker could easily be exposed to the illness outside of the workplace, it is not considered an occupational disease. For example, catching the flu from a co-worker would not be considered an occupational disease.
Types of Occupational Diseases
These diseases can result from a variety of biological, chemical, physical, and psychological factors. Here are some examples of types of occupational diseases:
An occupational disease like this is caused by exposure to infectious agents in the workplace. Examples include:
Tuberculosis – Tuberculosis (TB) is a serious infectious disease caused by a bacterium called Mycobacterium tuberculosis. This respiratory disease affects the lungs but can also attack other parts of the body. An injured worker may have symptoms that include coughing, chest pain, fever, and night sweats.
Tetanus- Tetanus is an acute infectious disease caused by the bacterium Clostridium tetani. The spores of this bacterium can be found in soil, and animal and human feces. An injured worker may contract tetanus from surfaces such as nails, needles, and barbed wire. Symptoms include muscle stiffness, spasms, and lockjaw, and can progress to respiratory failure and death.
Anthrax – Anthrax is a serious infectious disease caused by the bacterium Bacillus anthracis. It can be naturally found in soil and can affect domestic and wild animals. People can get anthrax by coming in contact with infected animals or contaminated animal products. Professions where this occupational disease can be contracted include mail handlers, law enforcement personnel, healthcare workers, and decontamination workers. Symptoms can vary depending on the type of anthrax, but may include nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain, headache, and fever.
Leptospirosis- Leptospirosis is an infection caused by the Leptospira bacteria, which can be transmitted between animals and humans. The disease can be contracted through direct contact with the urine or reproductive fluids of infected animals, contaminated water or soil. Also, contaminated food or water. This occupational disease could be contracted doing jobs such as farming, mining, construction, sewer work, veterinary work, and animal control. Symptoms can include fever, chills, headache, muscle aches, vomiting, diarrhea, abdominal pain, jaundice, skin rash, and red eyes.
Respiratory diseases can be caused by exposure to various irritants, allergens, and toxins in the workplace. Examples include:
Mesothelioma: a type of cancer that affects the lining of the lungs and is caused by exposure to asbestos fibers, which can be present in industries such as construction and shipbuilding. Obviously, a very serious respiratory disease, and if you believe it was caused by toxic substances from work, you need to call me!
Occupational asthma: caused by inhaling certain irritants in the workplace, such as dusts, gases, fumes, and vapors. Injured workers who are stricken with occupational asthma may need constant medical treatment. You need to meet with me to determine if your illness may covered by workers compensation.
Pneumoconioses: a group of lung diseases caused by inhaling dust or other particles, such as coal dust, silica, and asbestos. A more well known occupational disease caused by pneumoconioses is black lung disease. Contracting a respiratory disease like this makes it hard and almost impossible to continue to work. If you were diagnosed with this lung disease, reach out to me to discuss your workers compensation claim.
Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD): a lung disease characterized by difficulty breathing, coughing, and wheezing. This can be caused by workplace exposures such as gases, vapors, and dust. Respiratory diseases like COPD are common illnesses where workers seek workers’ compensation benefits.
Silicosis: a lung disease caused by inhaling silica dust, which can be present in industries such as mining, construction, and sandblasting. Occupational diseases in these industries can include chronic bronchitis and other diseases.
These occupational diseases can result from exposure to chemicals, irritants, or other substances that can damage the skin. Occupational skin diseases, such as allergic and irritant contact dermatitis, are the second most common type of occupational disease according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. If you have suffered a work related injury, something as serious as a skin disease, we need to discuss your workers compensation rights. Call me today, and I’ll Make Them Pay!®
Contact Dermatitis – Contact dermatitis is a common skin condition caused by direct contact with irritants or allergens in the workplace. It is an inflammatory reaction that leads to redness, itching, swelling, blistering, and flaking of the skin. Various substances can cause this reaction, including chemicals, solvents, detergents, metals, and plants.
Skin Cancers – There are three primary types of skin cancer: basal cell carcinoma, squamous cell carcinoma, and melanoma. Overexposure to ultraviolet radiation from the sun is the primary cause of skin cancer.
Skin Infections – Skin infections can be caused in the workplace as a result of exposure to harmful microorganisms. An occupational disease caused by bacterial skin infections may be impetigo, cellulitis, and folliculitis, and others. Other types of skin infections that can be caused in the workplace include viral infections like herpes simplex virus (HSV) and fungal infections such as ringworm.
These disorders are often caused by repetitive motions or awkward postures in the workplace. Examples include:
Carpal Tunnel Syndrome – Carpal tunnel syndrome is a common condition that affects the hand and wrist. It occurs when the median nerve, which runs from the forearm into the hand, becomes compressed or squeezed at the wrist. Symptoms of carpal tunnel syndrome include numbness, tingling, and weakness in the hand and arm.
Tendonitis – Tendonitis, is a condition characterized by inflammation of the tendons. These are thick fibrous cords that attach muscle to bone. It can cause pain, tenderness, swelling, and redness just outside a joint. Tendinitis can occur in any tendon, but most commonly around shoulders, elbows, wrists, knees, and heels. It is often caused by repetitive activities.
Thoracic Outlet Syndrome – Thoracic Outlet Syndrome refers to a group of disorders caused by compression of blood vessels or nerves in the space between the collarbone and the first rib. This can result in pain, numbness, and weakness in the neck, shoulder, and arm. Thoracic Outlet Syndrome can be caused by a variety of factors, including trauma, repetitive arm movements, and anatomical abnormalities.
Certain types of cancer can be caused by exposure to carcinogens in the workplace, such as asbestos, radon, and benzene.
Lung Cancer – Lung cancer is a type of cancer that begins in the lungs, where cells start to grow out of control. It is the leading cause of cancer-related death worldwide, accounting for more deaths than breast, prostate, and colon cancer combined. The two main types of lung cancer are non-small cell lung cancer and small cell lung cancer.
Skin Cancer- As mentioned earlier, the most common cause of skin cancer is overexposure to ultraviolet light. Exposure can occur from the sun or from artificial sources like tanning beds.
Causes of Occupational Diseases
An occupational disease can result from a variety of biological, chemical, physical, and psychological factors. Your specific medical diagnosis may qualify you for workers compensation. Be sure to keep you medical records. Here are some common causes of occupational diseases:
Exposure to chemicals, such as asbestos, lead, mercury, and benzene, can cause a variety of occupational diseases, including cancer and respiratory diseases.
Certain physical factors, such as noise and vibrations, can cause occupational diseases. For example, exposure to loud noise in the workplace can lead to hearing loss.
Exposure to infectious agents, such as bacteria, viruses, fungi, and parasites, can cause occupational diseases such as tuberculosis and HIV.
Repetitive motions, such as those involved in assembly line work or computer use, can lead to musculoskeletal disorders, including carpal tunnel syndrome and back pain.
Psychosocial factors, such as stress, post traumatic stress disorder, and job strain, can also contribute to occupational diseases. For example, stress in the workplace has been linked to a higher risk of cardiovascular disease.
Filing a Workers Compensation Claim for Your Occupational Disease
If you have been diagnosed with an occupational disease and believe it is work-related, you may be entitled to workers’ compensation benefits in Ohio. Here are the steps to filing a workers’ compensation claim for occupational diseases in Ohio:
Notify your employer: You should notify your employer as soon as possible after you are diagnosed with an occupational disease. Your employer may have specific procedures for reporting workplace injuries or illnesses, and failure to follow these procedures could adversely impact your ability to receive benefits.
Seek medical treatment: It is important to seek medical treatment from a qualified healthcare provider as soon as possible after your diagnosis. Your medical records will be an important part of your workers’ compensation claim.
Complete the First Report of Injury: You or your employer will need to complete the First Report of Injury, Occupational Disease, or Death (FROI) form to initiate the workers’ compensation claim process. You can download the FROI form from the Ohio Bureau of Workers’ Compensation (BWC) website or complete it by hand and mail or fax it to the BWC.
Provide supporting documentation: You will need to provide documentation to support your claim, such as medical records, witness statements, and employment records. I can help you gather and organize this documentation to ensure your claim is heard.
Attend a hearing: If your claim is denied, you may need to attend a hearing before the Ohio Industrial Commission to appeal the decision. This is often very difficult to handle on your own, and why it’s essential for your to call me!
Work with an attorney: Filing a workers’ compensation claim for an occupational disease can be a complex process, and it is important to have experienced legal representation on your side. An attorney can help you navigate the workers’ compensation system, protect your rights, and ensure that you receive the benefits you deserve.
If you have a been diagnosed with an occupational induced illness, call me today and I’ll Make Them Pay!®