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Common Occupational Diseases Covered by Workers’ Comp

Posted on in Workers' Compensation

DuPage County workers’ comp attorney, occupational diseasesWorkers’ compensation does not only cover acute injuries sustained on the job such as sprains and broken bones. Illinois workers’ compensation also covers diseases.

Occupational Diseases Defined

The Illinois Workers’ Occupational Diseases Act defines “occupational disease” as “a disease arising out of and in the course of the employment or which has become aggravated and rendered disabling as a result of the exposure of the employment.” 

Thus, if you have a condition that has been worsened by your job, you may be eligible for benefits. The aggravation must come from a risk that is related to employment and not a risk faced by the general public. For example, air quality in your workplace that exacerbates your asthma could fall into workers’ comp; however, stress that exacerbates your heart disease would not.

Common Occupational Diseases

  1. Allergic and Irritant Dermatitis. This skin disease comprised 15 to 20 percent of all reported workplace diseases. Because this skin condition can be caused by many different agents, there are several jobs where workers can be exposed. Yearly treatment costs for occupational skin diseases is approaching $1 billion. Exposure to irritants can lead to chronic skin problems.

  2. Asthma and Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD). Almost 30 percent of adults with asthma and COPD are said to have become sick because of workplace exposure. The Centers for Disease Control has found that more than 20 million workers in this country have been exposed to agents that cause airway diseases.

  3. Fertility and Pregnancy Abnormalities. The top cause of infant mortality is birth defects, some of which are caused by occupational exposures to dangerous chemicals. The CDC does not believe that enough research has been done on fertility issues and workplace exposure to harmful conditions. However, the CDC does note that 1,000 occupational chemicals have shown to affect fertility in animal testing.

  4. Hearing Loss. This disease can be caused by one acute accident or it can develop over years of exposure to loud conditions. Employers are required to provide protective measures in many circumstances.

  5. Infectious Diseases. These diseases primarily affect health care workers. Common diseases are hepatitis B and C viruses, HIV, and tuberculosis. Other professions that are especially at risk are social workers, correctional officers, and laboratory workers.

Contact a Skilled Wheaton, IL Workers’ Compensation Lawyer

The DuPage County workers’ comp attorney at the Law Offices of David W. Clark, P.C. provides efficient and skilled legal services to workers injured on the job. Call 630-665-5678 to set up your initial consultation.

Sources:

http://www.ilga.gov/legislation/ilcs/ilcs3.asp?ActID=2431&ChapterID=68

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

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