Types of Occupational Diseases and Workers’ Comp

You can receive workers’ compensation for diseases and conditions that you have because of your job. The disease or condition must be directly caused by your job.

Nurses, healthcare workers, and EMTs may be exposed to diseases from patients that are not common outside of healthcare settings, or that are directly caused by taking care of patients. People who do repetitive motions for work may develop joint conditions from doing the same motion all day every day. People who work in jobs with toxic things in the air may develop respiratory problems.

Some types of occupational diseases are listed below. This list is not a definitive list, and each case is different.

Infectious Diseases

If you work in a store and you get pneumonia because your coworker had pneumonia, it does not count as an occupational disease. But if you get a disease that a patient has because you are caring for the patient, it would count as an occupational disease. Nurses, healthcare workers, blood lab workers, and other people who regularly work with patients infected with these conditions are at risk.

·        HIV/AIDS

·        Tuberculosis (TB)

·        Hepatitis B and hepatitis C

Skin Conditions

Many types of jobs have chemicals that can harm your skin if they accidentally touch your skin. “Contact dermatitis” is a fancy way of saying skin that is irritated from touching something that causes skin to be irritated. Some cleaning chemicals may cause a reaction on your skin, or you may be allergic to latex. Other liquids or chemicals that you use in your job may also cause issues. The chemical may cause a problem for anyone who touches it, or you may be allergic.

·        Itchy skin

·        Hives

·        Irritated skin

Muscle and Bone Conditions

Both people who sit all day and people who are moving around all day for work are at risk of getting muscle and bone conditions. An office worker sitting and typing all day and a personal aide helping move people between beds and wheelchairs are both at risk for muscle and bone pain.

·        Low back pain

·        Carpal tunnel syndrome

·        Rotator cuff problems

Respiratory Conditions

Firefighters may develop lung problems from breathing in smoke. Coal miners may get lung issues from breathing in coal dust. Other workers who are around dust, such as those working with large quantities of grains or in making fabric, can also inhale dust that causes issues in their lungs. Some liquids such as cutting fluid may also end up as drops in the air,be breathed in, and cause problems.

·        Asthma

·        Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD)

·        Lung cancer

·        Emphysema

·        Coal miner’s lung

Hearing Loss

Hearing loss can happen in dozens of different professions and industries. It can happen from an injury to the ear or head, but loud noise over a long period of time is the usual cause, even with ear protection. Some types of jobs that may lead to hearing loss include construction, working in factories, and working in music or entertainment industries or venues.

·        Loss of hearing

·        Tinnitus (ringing in your ears)

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