The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) published a report on a common occupational illness among healthcare workers. According to NIOSH’s Respiratory Health Division, roughly 1.9 million healthcare workers in the US suffer from asthma. Of these workers, almost half suffered an asthma attack within the previous year.Asthma is one of many types of “occupational diseases”. These are health conditions that result from a person’s work environment or job duties. In the case of healthcare workers, cleaning chemicals and latex may cause asthma.The Department of Labor recognizes other types of occupational diseases. The various categories for these occupational conditions includes:
Skin diseases (contact dermatitis and friction blisters)
Respiratory conditions (asthma, silicosis and asbestosis)
Poisoning (lead, mercury and arsenic poisoning)
Environmental illnesses (heat stroke and frostbite)
Other acquired illnesses or conditions (HIV, hepatitis and carpal tunnel syndrome)
Certain types of careers may have higher instances of occupational diseases than others. This may be due to a lack of adequate protection provided by employers. For instance, quarry and construction workers have a heightened risk of developing silicosis, a debilitating respiratory condition. Office workers may be at risk of developing carpal tunnel syndrome. Employers in these industries can help their workers reduce the risk of suffering from these conditions.
Can I Receive Workers’ Compensation for an Occupational Illness?
You may be entitled to workers’ compensation if you suffered an injury or developed an illness on the job. Workers’ compensation benefits could help pay for medical bills and lost income that resulted from your condition or injury.Unfortunately, it can be a difficult process to file a claim for benefits. This is especially true if your employer challenges your claim. You should consider contacting an attorney to help with the claims process.The Gilroy workers compensation attorneys at Cramer & Martinez, LLP will fight on your behalf to help you receive the benefits you need to recover. For a free consultation with one of our attorneys, call (408) 763-8336. Our attorneys take cases in Gilroy, Hollister, San Martin and Morgan Hill.