Common Occupational Diseases In Florida
Falls and other immediate trauma injuries make up most workers’ compensation claims in Florida. An occupational disease is a work injury that develops over the course of more than one shift. Some of the more common occupational diseases are outlined below.
For a Tampa workers’ compensation lawyer, these claims have some special issues. For example, the normal claims deadline usually doesn’t apply. These occupational diseases take many years to develop. During this time, many victims have no idea they are sick. Additionally, a non-work or pre-existing condition often contributes to the risk and/or severity of an occupational disease. Maximum benefits are usually available in such cases. These benefits usually include reasonable medical bill payment and lost wage replacement.
Partial deafness is the most common occupational disease in Florida. Many workplaces are noisy enough to damage hearing. Long-term exposure to noises as quiet as 35 decibels, which is basically a kitchen blender, could permanently damage hearing. However, such a noise level isn’t high enough to trigger mandatory OSHA safety regulations. Therefore, these victims are often unprotected.
As mentioned, many hearing loss victims don’t see doctors at the first sign of trouble. Instead, they only reach out to physicians when their hearing loss is disabling. At that point, most victims have few treatment options. A simple hearing aid may not be enough. Instead, a doctor may need to perform risky and expensive eardrum surgery.
Hearing loss, like many other occupational diseases, has emotional effects as well. People who don’t hear well often withdraw from friends and family. This isolation causes depression, which makes them more prone to isolate, and the downward spiral continues.
Knees, ankles, and other joints can only take so much wear and tear. That’s especially true if the victim moves the same way over and over with little down time. Therefore, repetitive stress disorders are especially common among warehouse workers who bend or stoop a lot, and manufacturing line workers who spend all day screening on a part or performing a similar repetitive task.
Repetitive stress, usually computer eye strain and carpal tunnel syndrome, are often common among office workers. These injuries normally aren’t too serious, but the only cure is rest. A few weeks without a paycheck is financially devastating to most families.
Toxic substances alter cell chemistry and cause tumors. These tumors often grow over a period of about fifty years before the victim shows any visible cancer symptoms, like weight change, chronic pain, or chronic fatigue.
The cancer survival rate has improved significantly since the 1990s. Treatments are more advanced. Radiation is a good example. Doctors can now target radiation better, so the rays do less collateral damage and doctors can increase the dose.
However, these advances matter most if doctors get a head start on treatment. That’s usually not possible in work-related cancer, as many of these patients have no genetic or family history, so doctors don’t aggressively look for cancer in these patients.
Count on a Dedicated Hillsborough County Attorney
Injury victims are entitled to important financial benefits. For a free consultation with an experienced workers’ compensation lawyer in Tampa, contact Kobal Law. Virtual, home, and hospital visits are available.