Every year, workers across the country are either injured or develop conditions or other illnesses related to their job and duties they must regularly perform. While it might be relatively easier to notice and identify an injury one sustains from an accident, such as falling and breaking a leg, or sustaining a back injury from having to lift a particularly heavy box, the occupational illnesses and diseases workers develop on the job are oftentimes more difficult to pinpoint and understand. However, these illnesses are also covered by workers’ compensation, so it is crucial for every worker to understand that just because an ailment was not caused by a one-time incident does not mean you are not still entitled to these important benefits.
What is considered an occupational illness? These are generally defined as any sort of chronic ailment that a worker develops as a result of his or her job. It should also be identified as prevalent among a specific demographic of workers. That said, as long as the condition is directly related to the worker’s occupation, he or she can claim it under workers’ compensation to maintain a steady salary while having to take time off from work and to ensure all medical bills related to the ailment are covered.
Below are some of the most common types of occupational illnesses workers develop on the job:
- Skin diseases: Both men and women who work in industries that expose them to UV rays on a daily basis, such as roofers, construction workers, or agricultural workers, are all at a high risk of developing skin cancer. Workers who regularly come into contact with dangerous and toxic chemicals frequently, such as cleaners, painters, and mechanics, also experience a high risk of developing skin disease. Examples of skin diseases directly caused by working conditions include infections and eczema.
- Hearing loss: For those who work in noisy environments, such as those involved in the manufacturing and construction industries, you are likely exposed to a vast amount of deafening sounds, day in and day out. These employees are more prone to hearing loss than those in different professions and, even with the use of safety equipment, including earmuffs, hearing loss is still an incredibly common occupational illness suffered by many. These claims are often somewhat tricky due to the fact that most individuals experience some degree of hearing loss as they get older. Make sure you keep detailed medical records and hearing tests that can connect your hearing loss with your workplace.
- Respiratory problems: These types of occupational illnesses are among the most common and even some of the most deadly for those who worked with asbestos insulation and ultimately developed a fatal lung disease. In fact, despite much of the greater awareness surrounding these occupational illnesses, many workers continue to be affected by the toxins they breathe in at work. Other common respiratory problems include tuberculosis, emphysema, cystic fibrosis, occupational asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), and silicosis, which can all be covered by workers’ compensation benefits.
Workers’ Compensation Attorneys in Bakersfield
If you developed an occupational illness due to your job duties or work environment, you could be entitled to workers’ compensation benefits. At Berry, Smith & Bartell, a Professional Law Corporation, our team of Bakersfield workers’ compensation attorneys understand what our clients are going through, which is why we are committed to providing effective representation. Backed by over 130 years of combined experience, you can trust our established law firm to assist you in receiving the benefits you deserve.
Do not go through this difficult time on your own. Contact our office today at (661) 716-5555 to schedule a free initial case consultation. You will not owe us any legal fees unless we win your case!