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IL injury lawyerA lot of people who suffer an injury while on the job can collect workers’ compensation benefits. Under Illinois law, employers are required to carry workers’ compensation insurance for their employees in the event they are injured on the job. In certain industries, a worker may develop an ailment over time due to repeated exposure to toxic substances. A person can suffer permanent physical and/or neurological damage from contact with chemicals, dust, fumes, mold, or radiation. Those employees are also entitled to compensation if the occupational disease or illness was due to continuous employment in that profession. The Illinois Occupational Diseases Act assures fair compensation for workers who are temporarily or permanently disabled by such illnesses or diseases.

Illinois Occupational Diseases Act

The Illinois Occupational Diseases Act states that an occupational disease is an illness or damaging condition that is a direct result of employment or which could be aggravated by hazardous workplace conditions. These unsafe conditions must not be “common to the general public.” Common colds and other contagious ailments are not generally considered to be directly work-related. Many jobs involve exposure to dangerous chemicals, radiation, loud noise, and other hazards. These occupations can include but are not limited to the following:

  • Miners
  • Construction workers
  • Welders
  • Farmworkers
  • Tunnel or railroad workers
  • Diesel mechanics
  • Aerospace workers

The following occupational diseases are common among long-term industry employees and can ultimately be life-threatening for the employee:

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IL injury lawyerThe first diesel engine patent was issued in the 1890s. Over the decades this combustible engine variant slowly gained in popularity. Its popularity comes from the ability of its fuel-air mixture to produce better energy efficiency than most gasoline engines. It became popular in the 1990s, especially in Europe. Studies showed that it released less CO2 carbon emissions than its gasoline counterparts. Many European countries began encouraging car manufacturers and their citizens to switch over to diesel. However, diesel emits Nitrogen Oxides (NOx) which caused air pollution. By 2014, Paris had pollution near the level of Beijing. This diesel related pollution has created health risks for Parisians living in the city.

The Potential Diesel Health Risks

The diesel engine is a great invention, but like all fossil fuel powered engines it has potential environmental and health risks. Those who work closely with diesel are usually the last to know of risks. Such as the possible relationship between diesel fumes and lung cancer. The American Cancer Society has released lab studies that have found that diesel fumes (like soot) can change the DNA in a cell which could lead to cancer. Others studies have found that there is an increased chance of cancer in individuals who work closest to diesel fumes, such as railroad workers, diesel truck drivers, miners, and heavy equipment operators. While the studies are not conclusive, other agencies such as the World Health Organization (WHO) and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) have also done similar studies, which point to similar conclusions.

How to Stay Healthy

While diesel fumes do pose a threat to your health, thankfully, there are a few simple things you can do to minimize the risk.

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IL injury lawyerMost workers know that if they get injured on the job they are entitled to workers’ compensation. What some people may not know is that they are also eligible to receive compensation if they develop an occupational disease or ailment from continuous employment. Exposure to things like chemicals, dust, fumes, mold, or radiation can cause permanent and often irreversible damage to a person. The process to prove these types of cases can be tedious, but it does not have to be difficult with the right person’s help.

What Types of Diseases Are Covered?

The Illinois Occupational Diseases Act does not specifically like the types of diseases and ailments that are covered under the act. The act states that any employee who sustains any disablement, impairment or disfigurement or dies due to a disease that arises from their employment, is eligible for benefits. This means that any type of disease that is caused by employment is eligible for consideration under this act. Common types of diseases can include:

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Posted on in Workers' Compensation

Illinois injury attorneyWorkplace accidents and illnesses result from a variety of incidents and sources. In the past, it was difficult to pinpoint exactly the reason for occupational disease and illness, but medical and scientific advances have helped blue collar workers gain reimbursement for hospital bills as well as compensation for lost wages and living expenses.

Asbestos-Related Illness

Asbestos once was heralded as a building material breakthrough that could help prevent the spread of fires and would make buildings safer. It was used extensively throughout schools, commercial buildings, multi-family buildings and other structures in which a large number of people might accumulate. Although there may have been warning signs early on, it was not until the 1940s that some began linking asbestos exposure to incidents of cancer.

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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.” 

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