You could suffer countless injuries in the workplace. Occupational diseases are a type of work injury or illness caused by exposure to certain hazardous or toxic materials specific to your work.
The respiratory system is one of the body’s most critical and susceptible to occupational injury. Getting an occupational lung disease covered under workers’ compensation benefits may be difficult, but hiring the help of an attorney greatly increases your chances for coverage.
Some work injuries, such as a broken foot or a chemical burn, are straightforward. In contrast, others can take time to develop and may be difficult to diagnose or get covered under workers’ compensation. Most lung diseases can take time to develop when there are toxic exposures in your work environment, such as:
- Dusts include cadmium, asbestos, silica, metal, grain, flour, and mineral dust
- Gas, including carbon monoxide, ammonia, chlorine, or nitrogen oxide
- Fumes, including all chemical fumes, as well as welding fumes
- Vapors, including arsenic, cotton dust, or phosgene
Certain work processes can contaminate the air and put workers at risk, such as abrasive blasting, crushing of materials, furnace operations, grinding, polishing, and soldering.
What Are Examples of Occupational Lung Disease?
Although lung diseases may take time to develop and diagnosis may be complicated, many lung problems may qualify for workers’ compensation, including:
- Occupational asthma: Toxic gases and work pollutants can cause occupational asthma in workers exposed for long periods. Dust from grain, harmful fumes, or chemicals can all lead to respiratory symptoms associated with asthma.
- COPD:COPD is a dangerous disease that disrupts airflow in the trachea, making breathing difficult. COPD can be caused by all industries, particularly mining, construction, and agriculture.
- Silicosis: Inhaling silica dust, a common chemical in many industries, can lead to silicosis, a respiratory disease that causes coughing, shortness of breath, chest tightness, and lung swelling.
- Mesothelioma: Mesothelioma is a deadly and aggressive form of cancer that generally affects the lungs and the tissue surrounding the lungs. It is caused by exposure to asbestos.
Occupational Lung Diseases and Workers’ Compensation Benefits
Many states have a specific window for an injured worker to notify their employer of their work-related injury. It may be hard to determine the exact date of the occupational illness. Fortunately, many workers’ compensation laws allow the date of injury to be the date of diagnosis. As with any workers’ compensation claim, it is best to notify your employer as soon as you become aware of an injury or illness.
Some occupational lung diseases are easy to connect to your job. However, other occupational diseases are not so straightforward. If you have been diagnosed with an occupational lung disease, you must contact a lawyer immediately. They can help you make the connection between your injury and your work.
Our Chester County Workers’ Compensation Lawyers at Wusinich, Sweeney & Ryan, LLC Help Workers Suffering From Occupational Lung Diseases
Contact our Chester County workers’ compensation lawyers at Wusinich, Sweeney & Ryan, LLC if you have suffered a work-related illness. Call 610-594-1600 or fill out our online form for a free consultation. Located in Exton, Pennsylvania, we serve clients in Downingtown, West Chester, Coatesville, Phoenixville, Malvern, Lyndell, Wagontown, Uwchlan Township, Parkesburg, Chester Springs, Lancaster County, Reading, and Morgantown.