Work Related Illness

Most people know that you can seek workers’ compensation benefits if you are in an accident at work in Pennsylvania. What people may not realize: These benefits are also available if you suffer an illness related to your job. This is called an “occupational disease.” An occupational disease claim can sometimes be harder to prove than a bodily injury claim. This is why it is a good idea to have an experienced workers’ compensation lawyer helping out with your claim and with any disputes you might encounter concerning your benefits.

Occupationally-related airway diseases, including asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), have emerged as having substantial public health importance. Nearly 30% of COPD and adult asthma may be attributable to occupational exposure. Occupational asthma is now the most frequent occupational respiratory disease diagnosis.

More than 20 million U.S. workers are exposed to substances that can cause airway diseases. Research is needed to clarify the prevalence, risk factors, and exposure-disease relationships, to refine techniques for monitoring worker health and the job environment, and to develop effective and practical means for preventing work-related airway diseases in at-risk workers.

While more than 1,000 workplace chemicals have shown reproductive effects in animals, most have not been studied in humans. In addition, most of the 4 million other chemical mixtures in commercial use remain untested. Physical and biological agents in the workplace that may affect fertility and pregnancy outcomes are practically unstudied.

The inadequacy of current knowledge coupled with the ever-growing variety of workplace exposures pose a potentially serious public health problem. Over the next 10 years, research priorities should include expanding surveillance systems, studying working populations thought to be at risk, increasing the understanding of fundamental biological processes underlying normal and abnormal reproductive function or outcomes, and enhancing methods to identify hazards before placing human populations at risk.

Occupational hearing loss may result from an acute traumatic injury, but it is far more likely to develop gradually as a result of chronic exposure to ototraumatic (damaging to the ear or hearing process) agents. Noise is the most important occupational cause of hearing loss, but solvents, metals, asphyxiants, and heat may also play a role. Exposure to noise combined with other agents can result in hearing losses greater than those resulting from exposure to noise or other agents alone. Research is needed to define further the causal contributions of these hazards (alone or in combination) and to implement and evaluate methods for early detection and hearing conservation programs.

Low back musculoskeletal disorders are common and costly. Although the causes of low back disorders are complex, substantial scientific evidence identifies some work activities and awkward postures as significantly contributing to the problem. In the United States, back disorders account for 27 percent of all nonfatal occupational injuries and illnesses involving days away from work.

Prevention activities should be undertaken based on current knowledge, but important new research efforts are needed to assure that work-related low back disorders are successfully prevented and treated. For some occupations and tasks, there is a pressing need for more information about safe levels of exposure and for further validation of promising intervention approaches such as mechanical lifting devices for nursing aides.

Injury exacts a huge toll in U.S. workplaces–on an average day and research should focus on leading causes and high-risk groups. Priorities are deaths caused by motor vehicles, machines, violence, and falls, as well as traumatic injuries caused by falls and contact with machines, materials, equipment, and tools. High-risk groups include construction workers, loggers, miners, farmers, farm workers, adolescents, and older workers.

If you suspect that you or someone you know may have been exposed to silica and its harmful effects, contact HURT-511 for more information on workers’ comp statute and our personal injury lawyers help injured workers recover the benefits to which they are entitled by law. For a free consultation with an experienced workers’ compensation lawyer, call us toll-free at 800-4878-511 or complete our online form. Our firm handles accident and injury claims throughout all five boroughs of New York.

HURT-511 operates in all boroughs of New York including all Bronx neighborhoods, namely: Bedford Park, Belmont, Fordham, Highbridge, Hunts Point, Jerome Park, Kingsbridge, Morris Park, Morrisania, Mott Haven, Parkchester, Riverdale, Spuyten Duyvil, Throgs Neck, University Heights and Woodlawn.