If you work in Massachusetts, you may benefit from learning more about some of the most common occupational diseases. These work-related diseases can be disruptive, disabling and fatal. Occupational diseases are illnesses that are caused by exposure or an event at the workplace that contributes to a condition or exasperates an existing condition. According to the International Labor Organization, more than 2 million people die from occupational diseases every year.
Common types of occupational diseases
Occupational asthma is one of the most common types of occupational lung disorder found among industrialized countries. This form of occupational disease presents the classic symptoms of asthma, including coughing, wheezing, chest tightness and difficulty breathing. Contact dermatitis is the most common form of skin-related occupational disease, often resulting in irritation or a hypersensitive allergic reaction. Other common forms of occupational disease caused by workplace accidents are associated with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), musculoskeletal issues and cancer.
Risk of developing occupational diseases
The type of occupational disease is typically determined by the nature of the work and the environment in which they occur. Chronic lung issues have been linked to exposure to dust, fumes, vapors, gases and cigarette smoke. Other environmental factors include exposure to biological agents, like viruses; potentially toxic materials; dangerous minerals, like asbestos; organizational issues, like excessive workloads; and attrition from repetitive motions. Lawyers may also find workplace accidents to be the cause of occupational diseases.
Recovering from occupational diseases
If you believe you developed an occupational disease at the workplace, retain legal counsel today. Lawyers can help guide you through workers’ compensation and negotiating with your employer. An attorney may also be able to help you gather enough evidence to recover restitution for damages, including loss of income, medical expenses and lack of future earnings.