Top Five Occupational Diseases In Florida
Workers’ compensation insurance covers sudden trauma injuries, like falls, and occupational diseases. These conditions occur slowly over time. The same benefits are available in both situations. However, occupational disease claims are more complex.
First, these claims often involve pre-existing, or co-existing, conditions. Legally, victims must prove that the work-related hazard exacerbated the pre-existing condition, and not vice versa. Obviously, that’s a very fine line. Additionally, most workers don’t run to their doctors at the first sign of illness. Instead, they tough it out as long as they can. By the time they seek treatment, their conditions are much worse than they would have been otherwise.
A Tampa workers’ compensation attorney knows how to approach these complications and obtain maximum benefits. These benefits usually include lost wage replacement and medical bill payment.
Partial hearing loss is the most common occupational disease. Frequently, the victim works at a facility that’s noisy enough to cause hearing damage, but not noisy enough for Occupational Safety and Health hearing loss standards to take effect. Flight attendants are a good example. From inside a plane, the engines aren’t loud enough to require protective hearing devices. However, as the months and years pass, the hearing damage gets worse and worse.
Allergic and irritant dermatitis (contact dermatitis) is a close second. Reactions to solvents, cutting fluids, and other chemical irritants usually cause irritant dermatitis. As for allergic dermatitis, many people have latex, pesticide, and other allergies. At first, these conditions just cause mild skin irritation. Over time, they may become almost completely disabling.
This problem will probably get worse. Every year, thousands of potentially harmful chemicals are introduced into workplaces throughout Florida.
Repetitive Stress Disorders
Warehouse and other blue collar workers usually bend, stretch, kneel, and stoop a lot. The knees, ankles, and other joints can only take so much strain. That’s especially true if the victim moves the same way over and over again without much of a break. Office and other white collar workers usually type at computers a lot. This continued activity could cause carpal tunnel syndrome, a nerve disorder, or computer vision syndrome, a vision disorder.
This paragraph raises an important point. Blue collar workers aren’t the only workers who risk injury every time they punch in. White collar workers face equal risks, or even greater risks in many cases.
30 percent of COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease) and adult asthma may be attributable to occupational exposure. Furthermore, occupational asthma is now the most frequent occupational respiratory disease diagnosis. More than 20 million workers are potentially exposed to occupational agents capable of causing these diseases. Additionally, nearly 9 million workers are occupationally exposed to known sensitizers and irritants associated with asthma.
Fertility and Birth Issues
The aforementioned chemicals don’t only cause skin diseases. They often cause fertility, pregnancy, and birth issues as well. Researchers don’t know much about these occupational diseases. Most of the 4 million other chemical mixtures in commercial use remain untested. Additionally, physical and biological agents in the workplace that may affect fertility and pregnancy outcomes are practically unstudied.
Fortunately, the burden of proof in workers’ compensation claims is quite low. Generally, a Tampa workers’ compensation lawyer must only prove facts by a preponderance of the evidence (more likely than not). If Sarah inhaled dangerous chemical fumes at work, it’s more likely than not that those chemicals caused her fertility, pregnancy, or birth issues.
Work With 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. Virtual, home, and hospital visits are available.