What To Know About Occupational Diseases and Workers’ Comp

Occupational diseases usually fly under the radar when it comes to workers’ comp. Being a worker comes with a lot of tasks, stress, and even risks. At times, workplaces could be unsafe to their workers. These hazards are often severe, but most times, employers and employees can prevent them.

North Carolina charges employers with the duty of ensuring the safety of their employees at all times. In addition to protecting their employees, the state expects employers to pay for damages when the worker suffers an injury. The law refers to this payment as workers’ compensation.

Dangers in the workplace or occupational diseases can be very harmful to a worker’s life. For this reason, you need a Charlotte workers’ compensation lawyer who will ensure you get justice. In this article, we will be focusing on some occupational diseases and how they relate to workers’ compensation.

What Are Occupational Diseases?

Occupational diseases are medical conditions that develop as a result of exposure to dangerous substances found in workplaces. These illnesses are found in or related to specific occupations, such as mining, construction, etc.

Some particular industries expose their workers to asbestos, mercury, dust, etc. Long-term exposure to these items ends up causing infections, cancers, and respiratory diseases in workers. Furthermore, exposure to loud noises for hours on end causes some occupational diseases.

It is, therefore, the duty of employers to provide personal protective equipment (PPE) to all at-risk employees. This is especially necessary for industries where workers have to work for long periods.

Common Types of Occupational Diseases

There are many occupational diseases that an employee can suffer from. However, we will be discussing six of these diseases.

  • Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

Some refer to this occupational disease as median nerve compression. It is known for numbness or weakness in the hand. This occurs when the median nerve is squeezed due to continuous usage. You can find this syndrome amongst those in occupations that require strenuous hand or wrist work.

  • Dermatitis

Dermatitis is a skin irritation that forms redness, itchiness, or dryness of the skin. Occupations that involve you having contact with particular solvents or metals are one of the causes of dermatitis.

  • Hearing Loss

Exposure to loud noise can cause hearing loss to North Carolina workers. This is because loud noises can cause eardrum rupture. Furthermore, it can permanently affect your hearing. In jobs where loud noises are every day, employees are more at risk of hearing loss.

  • Asbestosis

Asbestos is a material prevalent in constructing roofs and floors. Although this material is instrumental in construction projects, exposure to asbestos for a long time can cause asbestosis. Inflammation of the lungs characterizes asbestosis. Additionally, lung scarring could accompany the disease.

  • Asthma

Medical professionals refer to asthma that occurs as a result of occupational hazards as “occupational asthma.” It is a result of having contact with chemical fumes for extended periods. Occupational asthma comes with chest tightness, wheezing, and shortness of breath.

  • Lead Poisoning

For industries that work with lead daily, lead poisoning is not a strange occurrence. Lead poisoning can cause intellectual disability, seizures, anemia, infertility, etc., in employees. Unfortunately, a number of these side effects are permanent.

Are Occupational Diseases Covered Under Workers’ Compensation?

Yes, workers’ compensation covers some occupational diseases. Occupational diseases occur on the job, e.g., asbestosis, carpal tunnel syndrome, asthma, allergic reactions, etc. They are progressive and not instantaneous, like workplace injuries. Occupational diseases result from long-term work in some occupations, while workplace injuries occur suddenly (such as an accident).

The problem with receiving workers’ compensation for occupational diseases is proving that the disease is due to your work. Therefore, the disease must be either AOE or COE. This means “arising out of employment” and occurring in the “course of employment,” respectively.

If you hope to get workers’ compensation benefits for your occupational disease, you must meet some requirements. These vary depending on the state. Also, you have to have concrete proof that the disease is due to the nature of your job.

Let Workers’ Compensation Lawyers in Charlotte, NC, Help You Win Your Case

This article has stated that getting workers’ compensation for an occupational disease can be very tasking. This is due to the complexities of proving that the occupational disease is work-related. As such, you need a Charlotte workers’ compensation lawyer to help you.

Our legal team is dedicated to providing the best legal services each case requires. We always have your best interests at heart, and we are always willing to go the extra mile for you. In addition to these, our track records of successful workers’ compensation cases are testaments of our efficiency. We even offer free case reviews. So reach out to us today!