Occupational diseases that are covered by workers’ compensation are diseases caused by conditions associated with a particular trade or occupation, excluding ordinary diseases that the general public is typically exposed to outside of employment. For example, a worker who has lung damage from spending years breathing in a certain chemical in the products that they have used for work would probably be classed as having an occupational disease. On the other hand, an office worker who develops a lung disease with no clear link to their work would probably not be classed as having an occupational disease. Many injuries that are directly related to the workplace may also lead to worker’s compensation claims.
An occupational illness occurs when a disease is the direct result of the work or working conditions. A worker whose medical condition has developed due to exposures in the workplace, where there is a relation between the disease and the exposure, will usually also be classed as having an occupational illness. For example, workers who are exposed to asbestos as a part of their job may develop a condition known as mesothelioma. Noise exposure in the workplace can also lead to hearing loss, which would be classed as an occupational condition in this situation. Exposure to certain hazardous substances in work can lead to asthma.
Repetitive Motion Injuries:
Repetitive motion injuries are some of the most common complaints in the workplace due to certain jobs that require workers to consistently perform the same motions such as typing or lifting. Carpal Tunnel Syndrome is the most common, affecting the wrists, hands, and forearms due to repetitive motions like typing. It is quite common in office workers. However, other parts of the body are also susceptible to repetitive motion injuries including back pain that is often suffered by workers who do heavy lifting work like stocking shelves for years.
Mental and Emotional Stress:
The courts now recognize mental and emotional stress-related injuries to be covered by workers’ compensation. Job-related stress has been acknowledged as a major cause of injury in the workplace and can lead to multiple conditions including several cancers and heart disease. However, these are some of the least common worker’s comp claims since it is often difficult to prove that the stress is a result of work rather than personal stress. If you want to make a worker’s compensation claim for emotional or mental stress and injury, it’s a good idea to work with an experienced lawyer like Brown and Crouppen Kansas City to help prove your case.
When Can You Sue?
It is possible to sue for access to worker’s compensation if an employer does not carry it. They can be sued for negligence as an employer and may found to be at fault for the injuries sustained by workers. The purpose of worker’s compensation is to help provide for workers who are injured or become sick as a result of their job. Even in cases where the employee at fault, they may still be eligible for benefits if the injury or illness is workplace-related.
Understanding which workplace injuries and illnesses can lead to worker’s comp claims is important for both employers and employees.