Most of us spend a great deal of time at our place of employment with the average full-time worker clocking at least 40 hours per week doing their job.
Unfortunately, this means that if you work with harmful substances or in hazardous conditions, your exposure is considerable. While the majority of people will never experience any health-related problems derived from their employment, a percentage of people every year become sick with an occupational disease.
An occupational disease is any sort of chronic ailment that occurs as a result of your work environment or tasks you complete in the line of work and can take many different forms. Here are some of the most common occupational diseases and illnesses that are reported in the state of Florida.
Lung Conditions From Work
Lungs conditions represent some of the most serious types of occupational disease since many can result in debilitating, ongoing medical problems. In some instances, they can also cause premature death. Patients who suffer from lung conditions often find it difficult to return to work, and since respiratory issues are usually expensive to treat, they may also suffer significant financial strain.
Lung diseases are almost always caused by repeated exposure to a harmful substance. Some of the most common occupation lung diseases include:
- Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD)
- Coal workers’ pneumoconiosis
- Lung cancer
- Sick building syndrome
- Tuberculosis (TB)
Carpal Tunnel Syndrome From Work
Carpal tunnel syndrome (CTS) is a fairly common condition that is most often seen in people whose job involves them making repetitive movements, such as assembly line workers, office workers, typists, and musicians.
It occurs when the median nerve, which is located with the carpal tunnel – a sheath running from your arm to your wrist – becomes compressed. This causes inflammation to occur, placing further pressure on the nerve and increasing the symptoms of the condition which include:
- Pain in the hand and wrist
- Weak thumb or hand
- Inability to carry out their usual repetitive function
Carpal tunnel syndrome can make it difficult or impossible for the worker to carry out their usual job. In severe cases, a procedure called carpal tunnel release surgery may be the only option to improve the patient’s symptoms.
Occupational Skin Conditions
Skin conditions are another exceedingly common type of occupational disease and can be caused by a wide variety of different factors. Estimates by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention suggest that more than 13 million workers are potentially at risk of coming into contact with chemicals that can be absorbed through the skin. As such, the worker may experience skin-related conditions including:
- Allergic dermatitis
- Chemical burns
- Infections of the skin
- Irritant dermatitis
- Skin cancer
While the severity of skin conditions can vary immensely, worker’s may still experience the need for time off of work and medical bills – expenses that have occurred as a direct result of their job.
Am I entitled to compensation for occupational diseases and illnesses in Florida?
Most people think that they might only be entitled to compensation if they are injured in an accident at work. However, under Florida State Law, workers who suffer from an occupational disease or illness as a direct result of their day-to-day work activities may be entitled to worker’s compensation benefits.
This financial award is designed to help workers recover the costs they may have incurred as a result of time off of work due to illness or medical treatment and their medical expenses.
In some cases, you may also be able to claim damages for the pain and suffering that you have experienced. In the case of loss of life, death benefits may be payable to the family of the deceased.
If you work in the state of Florida and have been diagnosed with an occupational disease or illness, our experienced attorney can help you claim the compensation. Call our office today to schedule a no-obligation, confidential consultation at 407-410-4316.