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Archive for the ‘occupational diseases’ tag

What Are The Most Common Occupational Diseases?

January 23rd, 2020 at 9:35 pm

When people think about workers’ compensation, they will often associate it with catastrophic injuries that happen on work sites. While an amputation or brain injury will likely result in a worker receiving benefits, they are also eligible if they develop an illness because of their work environment. Occupational diseases can take years to develop but can be just as devastating to a person’s health. Even when safety precautions are taken, long exposure to lead, asbestos, or other toxic chemicals will leave a lasting effect.

No matter if an injury is sudden or drawn out from years on the job, most employees are entitled to workers’ compensation benefits. It also does not matter if the illness or injury in question was the fault of the employee or the employer. If someone is hurt, and cannot work after three days, employers are required to start paying temporary disability. Illinois law requires employees to report the accident within 45 days. When it comes to an occupational disease, it must be reported as soon as the employee is made aware of their condition.

Although workers’ compensation can be received if work conditions contribute to a pre-existing condition, these are some of the most common occupational diseases caused by a work environment.

  • Asbestosis: Caused by inhaling asbestos fibers, Asbestosis, or asbestos poisoning, is a chronic condition that affects the lungs.  Although asbestos is a natural mineral, it can cause mild to severe damage to the lungs with prolonged exposure. Asbestos is strong, which is why it was often used as a building material in insulation and cement. Symptoms of asbestosis do not appear until up to 40 years after long-term exposure. The fibers create scar tissue in the lungs which can lead to shortness of breath, a constant cough, and an increased risk for lung cancer.
  • Lead Poisoning: Today, it is uncommon to find lead in building materials or consumer goods. Lead used to be a common ingredient in house paint, which endangered workers and consumers alike. If workers spend time in older buildings, they may be exposed to lead through contaminated dust or paint. Symptoms will not appear for lead poisoning until they reach a certain high level. Lead poisoning can have lasting neurological effects, pain, and fertility problems.

Contact a Cook County Workers’ Compensation Attorney

Occupational diseases can take years to show symptoms, but you still deserve compensation after the fact. If you have developed a chronic illness due to work conditions, contact an experienced Chicago workers’ compensation attorney. Contact us at 630-574-2288 to arrange a free consultation today.

 

Sources:

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

https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/asbestosis/symptoms-causes/syc-20354637

https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/lead-poisoning/symptoms-causes/syc-20354717

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