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Seven Occupational Diseases in Florida


After several years of steady decline, workplace absenteeism is once again on the rise. An occupational disease, many of which are discussed below, often causes absenteeism. Other causes include child care issues, workplace injuries, and transportation issues.

If disease-related absenteeism lasts more than seven days, benefits are available that replace lost wages and pay medical bills.

To obtain these benefits, a Tampa workers’ compensation lawyer must prove that a work-related condition substantially caused the illness. Florida law defines “work-related” in broad, victim-friendly terms. If Tom sustains a permanent injury at a company softball game., like a broken hip that never heals properly, his injury was work related.

Occupational Injury

Unhealed trauma injuries might be the most common kind of occupational disease. These unhealed injuries are disabling and increase the risk of future injury. If a pre-existing or non-work condition contributed to a job-related injury or illness, maximum benefits are still available. If anything, more compensation is available in such cases. Vulnerable victims deserve special protection.

Repetitive Stress

Warehouse workers usually bend, stoop, kneel, and reach almost all day, every day. Knees, ankles, elbows, and other joints cannot withstand such overuse, especially if the victim cannot take long breaks.

Toxic Exposure Cancer

Many workplace chemicals contain toxic heavy metals, such as mercury, lead, ammonia, zinc, iodine, and manganese. Long-term exposure to these substances alters cellular DNA  and causes cancer.

Overall, the cancer survival rate has improved significantly since the 1990s. But the occupational cancer survival rate lags behind. Doctors cannot base a preliminary diagnosis on lifestyle or genetic red flags.

Lung Disease

Unsafe work conditions often cause asthma, COPD, and other serious lung diseases. If doctors detect these conditions quickly, they’re manageable. If doctors don’t get head starts, these conditions are usually unmanageable.

Job-related lung diseases usually fall into the latter category. Most people don’t run to the doctor the first time they have trouble breathing. That’s especially true in states like Florida, where victims must see company doctors.

Hearing Loss

The same dynamics apply to job-related hearing loss. These occupational diseases often involve non-work conditions as well. Most people hear loud noises all day, every day, not just at work.

Cardiovascular Disease

Work-related CVD (cardiovascular disease) accounts for about 20 percent of all fatal CVD cases. Some specific work-related factors include:

  • Long working hours (55 hours or more per week),
  • Working nights, rotating shifts, or other non-standard shifts,
  • High job demand,
  • Low job control,
  • Low job security (worried about losing one’s job),
  • Work-life imbalance,
  • Low organizational justice (feeling of being treated unfairly at work), and
  • Low workplace social support.

Unhealthy lifestyle habits, like smoking, and genetic risk also contribute to many fatal CVD cases.


Yes, smoking could be a compensable work-related injury in Florida. Usually, occupational stress victims aren’t eligible for workers’ compensation benefits, unless these injuries have physical consequences. If high stress at work prompts Jill to smoke, workers’ compensation may cover her tobacco-related lung and other injuries.

Reproductive Health

Many things can impact the ability to have healthy children for both women and men, including hazards in the workplace. Some workplace hazards affect the ability to become pregnant, the health of unborn children, and child development.

 Rely on a Thorough 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. We do not charge upfront legal fees in these matters.

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