What is an occupational illness? These diseases are chronic ailments caused by exposure, usually over a long period, to hazards during work activities. It is difficult to identify whether work activities are causing wear and tear or an illness in the body as, in most cases, they develop over time. As a result, the connection between cause and effect is not immediately apparent. By the time you notice it, the illness may require extensive treatment, or it may be permanent.
What are the most common occupational diseases?
- Repetitive stress disorder: This type of injury takes a long time to appear. The symptoms are usually not noticeable, starting with minor discomforts until they become muscle or tendon disorders that require corrective surgeries or physiotherapies.
- Pulmonary disease: As in the case of workers exposed to toxic substances or high in chemicals such as asbestos, acids, among others, that can negatively impact the respiratory system. In most cases, exposure may aggravate a pre-existing condition such as asthma or lead to other diseases such as silicosis and lung cancer.
- Hearing loss: This type of damage is frequently suffered by workers exposed to high levels of noise, for example, factory workers or airport workers. Severe headaches and tinnitus can accompany hearing loss in one or both ears.
- Cancer: Professionals who work with toxic chemicals and hazardous waste are at high risk for cancer.
- Skin conditions: Rashes and thermal burns caused by exposure to harmful chemicals can cause an incredible amount of pain, as well as scars that never heal. People exposed to working with pesticides can suffer from blemishes and the weakening of the skin.
Occupational disease cases are a bit complex. Defining whether or not the employee deserves workers’ compensation requires clear evidence that the illness is work-related. If you believe that the activities you carry out at work expose you to suffer from any of these occupational diseases in the future, please contact us. We can guide you through the correct process to claim workers’ compensation benefits.