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What are common types of occupational illnesses?

The work environment may be designed for productivity, but it is not designed to prevent all dangers. No matter the industry an individual from Ohio is in, he or she is subjected to a wide variety of risks. While some industries are more prone to occupational hazards, it is important for all employees, no matter their occupation, to note the common types of occupational illnesses and how they could impact an employee.

What are common types of occupational illnesses? To begin, let's define this situation. This is considered to be an event or exposure in the work environment that either caused or contributed to the condition suffered or significantly aggravated the pre-existing disorder suffered by the employee. Occupational illnesses could impact the skin, respiratory system, or they could be events leading to poisoning, hearing loss or other similar ailments.

With regards to skin diseases and disorders, this includes conditions such as chemical exposure, dermatitis, eczema, friction blisters or chrome ulcers. For respiratory conditions, this includes silicosis, asbestosis, pneumonitis, tuberculosis, occupational asthma and other similar conditions. Poisonings and hearing loss could result from work conditions such as products and machinery worked with in the workplace.

A workplace illness is considered a recordable case when it results in death, loss of consciousness, causes days away from work, restricts work activity, requires medical treatments, is diagnosed by a medical professional and meets the definition of an illness caused by the work environment.

Suffering a workplace illness can be a shocking a serious event to experience. It is also one that could significantly impact an employee's ability to continue working for an extended period of time. Thus, it is important that workers understand their rights to workers' compensation benefits. This could help address the needed medical treatment and lost wages caused by the condition.

Source: Bls.gov, "Injuries, Illnesses, and Fatalities," accessed March 18, 2018

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