Occupational diseases are different from occupational injuries. With an occupational injury, a worker is involved in some type of accident or incident in which he or she is physically hurt. This may or may not require treatment in order to be repaired. However in cases of occupational disease, many times the employers are aware of the danger and the diseases develop through employer or worker neglect. They are almost always caused by some sort of chemical. Here is an overview of occupational disease types and statistics.
There are many different occupational disease types, but a few are much more prominent than others. For instance, Mesothelioma and its primary cause, Asbestos would be a typical example of an occupational disease. Workers unknowingly ingested Asbestos in construction and other sites – many over a period of several years. Many of these workers developed Mesothelioma because of that direct or indirect contact with the Asbestos.
Pesticides are another leading cause for occupational diseases and they are much more prominent today than Asbestos. In fact, between 1987 and 1989, 117 cases of occupational disease occurred and of those, 50% were from pesticides. Workers were present in an area which had recently been treated and they suffered injuries or symptoms related to these pesticides. In most cases of occupational diseases caused by pesticides, the skin and respiratory system are affected the most.
However, the skin and respiratory system are not the only things affected by occupational disease. In some cases of occupational disease and poisonings, the nervous system is affected along with gastro-intestinal related issues.
Some other occupational disease types include but are not limited to:
While most companies and organizations are required to inform employees of hazards related to their job, in some cases the employees who have been injured or poisoned claimed not to know the dangers.
In cases where an employee knows about the risks associated with the work environment, but neglects to inform his or her employees – the employer or company is at fault. This means that the employees affected have the basis for a lawsuit. Common sense assumes that the employee would never have entered a dangerous work zone had they been informed of the risks and potential dangers beforehand.
In a lawsuit involving occupational diseases, several factors may be considered when victims are compensated – including what types of injuries the employees sustained, how long those injuries have or will affect the quality of their lives, hospital costs associated with the injuries, what amount of income was lost due to the injuries and more. These factors are then used to create an amount of compensation.
For instance, if a 30 year old man is injured and unable to work for two years, his income for that two years will be added. If he paid $30,000 in hospital bills, those may be included as well as estimated hospital bills for the rest of his life (depending upon the type of occupational disease.) Other factors that may be included are emotional damages, physical damages and whether the disease is ultimately fatal or not.
It is important to consult with an attorney, as they are the only ones who can tell you if the particulars of you situation qualify as an occupational disease.