Although people may complain about having to go to work each day, you may be one of those people who actually loves your job. It may be a job you studied hard to obtain or one that lets you be creative, help people or fulfilling in some way. But what happens when the job you love makes you sick?

There are many occupations with hazards that may cause you to develop a chronic, or even fatal, illness due to exposure to certain substances or the type of work you are required to do. So, when you develop an occupational illness, what steps should you take next?

Types of Occupational Diseases

There are many different types of occupational illnesses that can occur.

Some of the illnesses that have been documented under workers compensation regulations include:

  • Skin conditions – Exposure to chemicals, plants or other substances may irritate skin, causing illness. Contact dermatitis, eczema, oil acne, friction blisters, chrome ulcers or other inflammations of the skin may all be caused through workplace exposure
  • Respiratory conditions – If you breathe hazardous chemicals, dusts, gases or vapors, you may suffer from respiratory conditions. Some of the respiratory conditions that have been represented by occupational disease attorneys include asbestosis, pneumonitis, pharyngitis, rhinitis, farmer’s lung, tuberculosis chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and may others which were related to the person’s occupation.
  • Poisoning – Ingestion, breathing or absorption of toxic substances can cause poisoning. Some of the substances that have been connected to poisoning of employees include lead, arsenic, carbon monoxide, hydrogen sulfide or other substances that are known hazards.
  • Hearing loss – If you work in an area with a baseline audiogram of 10 dB or more in either ear, you could suffer from hearing loss which is considered an occupational disease.
  • Exposure – If you work outside in extreme heat or cold, you could be subject to illnesses related to exposure such as frostbite, heat stroke, sun stroke and heat exhaustion.
  • Other illnesses – There are some occupations with a greater risk of occupational illness, such as onionizing radiation caused by welding flashes, ultra-violet rays or lasers or decompression sickness in scuba divers.

What Occupational Illnesses Are Most Common?

The most common occupational illnesses seen by occupational disease attorneys are respiratory conditions. However, many people seek legal assistance when they are diagnosed with cancer or another potentially terminal illness that may have been caused by their occupation.

For example, many people who worked in shipyards during the 1950s and 1960s are now being diagnosed with mesothelioma, a rare form of cancer. There are 9/11 first responders who are now developing rare forms of cancer and seeking compensation as a result.

Does Pennsylvania Workers Comp Cover Occupational Illness?

Pennsylvania’s workers compensation law covers occupational illness. The law states that an employer is liable for compensation should an employee develop an illness due to their job duties.

If the disease occurs due to the negligence of another employee other than the one who becomes ill, the employer is still liable.

Contact Our Occupational Disease Attorneys

After being diagnosed with a disease that may have been the result of your employment, you may not know where to turn or what to do. The first step is to hire an attorney who understands the occupational disease coverage through workers compensation.

Hiring an attorney does not mean you are suing your employer. In fact, the state of Pennsylvania expressly forbids an employee from suing an employer for workplace injuries in most cases. An attorney can guide you through the process, deal with the insurance company for you and make sure you get the compensation you deserve.

If you or a loved one has been diagnosed with an illness that you believe is related to your job duties, contact Lundy Law today to learn what rights you may have. We will work with your employer and the insurance company to make sure you are compensated fairly and properly. You can arrange your initial consultation by calling 1-800-Lundy Law or visit us online to fill out our simple query form.

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