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What Jobs Are at Risk of Occupational Diseases in Illinois?

August 4th, 2021 at 4:52 pm

Occupational-Risk-Attorney-Oak_BrookWork-related injuries are common in Illinois and throughout the U.S., especially for employees who perform extensive physical labor or who work with heavy machinery and equipment. Thanks to the Illinois Workers’ Compensation Act, many injured workers qualify for benefits that cover their medical care and some of their lost wages. Employees who develop or contract a disease or illness in the course of their work may also be eligible for workers’ compensation benefits, though these cases are often more complicated.

Occupations With High Incidences of Work-Related Illness

Occupational diseases tend to develop after prolonged and repeated exposure to a hazardous condition, rather than a one-time event. Some occupations in which occupational diseases are more common include:

  • Construction and manufacturing – Workers in these occupations may be exposed to a variety of risks, including hazardous materials like asbestos, chemicals used in the manufacturing process, and dangerous particles in the air. These hazards can lead to skin diseases, respiratory conditions, and certain types of cancer.
  • Firefighting – Firefighters are at risk of respiratory conditions due to smoke and ash inhalation.
  • Mining – Workers in the mining industry, especially coal miners, are also exposed to the risk of respiratory disease from the inhalation of harmful particles.
  • Agriculture – Farm workers may develop lung conditions from inhaling grain dust and other particles, or other diseases due to exposure to chemicals in fertilizers and pesticides.
  • Health care – Doctors, nurses, EMTs, and other health care providers may be exposed to infectious airborne or bloodborne pathogens that may cause diseases like COVID-19, hepatitis, and AIDS.

Recovering Compensation

According to Illinois law, you may be entitled to workers’ compensation benefits if you have a work-related disease or illness. However, you will need to be able to demonstrate that your condition meets certain criteria. Namely, the disease must have arisen in the course of your work, or have been aggravated by your work to the point of disablement. Generally, this means you will need to establish a causal connection between some hazard present in your work and the specific condition you have contracted or developed.

 

It is often beneficial to hire an attorney for a workers’ compensation claim involving an occupational illness. A lawyer can help you take the necessary steps to pursue benefits as soon as you become aware of the condition, as well as gather evidence of the connection between your work and the disease. Occupational illness claims are commonly denied, and if this happens to you, your attorney can help you appeal the denial.

Contact a Chicago Workers’ Comp Lawyer

At the Law Offices of Francis J. Discipio, we know how important it is to get the care and treatment you need for an occupational disease. We can work with you to file and pursue a claim for workers’ compensation benefits that make this possible. Call us today at 630-574-2288 to schedule a free consultation with a Cook County workers’ compensation attorney.

 

Sources:

https://www.aafp.org/afp/2016/0615/p1000.html

https://www.bls.gov/iif/oshdef.htm

https://www.cdc.gov/niosh/docs/96-115/diseas.html

https://www.ilga.gov/legislation/ilcs/ilcs3.asp?ActID=2431&ChapterID=68

 

 

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