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Types of Occupational Diseases that Require Workers’ Compensation

Goldstein Heslop Steele Clapper Oswalt & Smith Dec. 12, 2021

While there are multitudes of various injuries and sicknesses that can happen in a workplace, there are some occupational diseases which more commonly arise. Whether from exposure to certain toxic chemicals or fumes in a workplace, or a repetitive use injury, these are seen and heard about most often in doctors’ offices, hospitals, and disability hearings.

The CDC provides a list of the most common occupational diseases in the U.S. each year. Some variance is seen, but the list almost always includes back injuries, hearing loss, pulmonary diseases, and certain infectious diseases. All become chronic, ongoing issues that usually involve lifelong treatment.

The diseased most common to workers’ compensation claims involve occupations in which toxic chemicals are used. Examples include painters who work in a paint booth, nail technicians exposed to fumes, coal miners exposed to asbestos, and cosmetologists exposed to chemical in dye and other hair products. These are only a few in a long list of hazardous occupations likely to cause pulmonary issues. Back injuries and musculoskeletal issues are also common, especially among the manual labor trades such as construction.

When a worker files a workers’ compensation claim, it becomes the burden of the employer to prove that an injury or illness did not happen in, or come from the workplace. If your workers’ compensation claim has been denied, consult with a knowledgeable attorney who can help you prepare an appeal. Do not give up on the first try. Sometimes these types of claims take multiple appeals to get approved, but it is possible. Seek expert advice to help you navigate the process.