Many people in Minnesota are familiar with occupational injuries like falls or muscle strains. Acute work-related injuries lead to a lot of workers’ compensation claims. However, less is understand about occupational diseases, or those work-related medical problems that develop gradually.
What is an occupational disease?
An occupational disease is a medical ailment that was caused by working conditions. If a worker already had a medical condition before starting their job, it would not be considered an occupational disease. Similarly, a condition that was caused by something outside of a person’s work environment is also not an occupational disease.
When a worker files a workers’ compensation claim for an occupational disease, it is important for them to prove that there is a link between their working conditions and their disease. A few factors that can lead to occupational diseases include exposure to toxic chemicals, excessively loud noise or asbestos dust.
Most common occupational diseases
There is a wide range of different occupational diseases that workers can be diagnosed with. Some are related to cancerous materials that were used at work while others are related to exposure to pathogens. Here are some of the most common occupational diseases:
- Contact dermatitis
- Respiratory conditions
- Hearing loss
- Musculoskeletal disorders
- Post traumatic stress disorder
Compensation for treatment and lost wages
A lot of workers are unaware that their occupational diseases are in fact work-related. However, if a link can be drawn between a work condition and your medical condition, you may be entitled to benefits under your employer’s workers’ compensation insurance coverage.