While workplace accidents are a common source of serious injuries, employees can also suffer from toxic exposure and occupational illnesses. Unlike a broken bone or strained muscle, these diseases might lead to lifelong conditions with devastating complications.
What are five of the most common types of occupational disease?
- Asthma: Work environments will likely contain paint, insulation, insecticides and other irritants. When these fibers or fumes are inhaled, they can cause severe lung problems.
- Contact dermatitis: One of the most common types of occupational illness is contact dermatitis. Workers are exposed to numerous hazardous chemicals while on the job. Skin damage can occur following an allergic reaction, contact with irritants, high temperatures, radiation or parasites.
- Hearing loss: Whether it is due to sound levels or exposure to ototoxic chemicals, workers might be at risk for hearing loss on the job.
- Heat illness: Workers who perform tasks outside in the heat or inside in a poorly ventilated area are at risk for heat stroke, dehydration or other heat-related illnesses. Workers must stay cool, hydrated and safe when completing job tasks in a hot environment.
- COVID-19: While it is a recent additional to the lexicon, COVID-19 exposure at the workplace has become a serious threat to worker safety. Depending on the work environment, exposure can come from clients, customers or co-workers. If the appropriate safety measures are not taken, worker health is at risk.
Whether it is due to falling off a ladder, being struck by falling debris or exposure to toxic materials, workers face severe danger on nearly every shift. It is important to work with a medical professional to gain clear insight into the health problems you face and contact a legal professional for guidance through the workers’ compensation process.