The Lowdown on Occupational Disease: How Does it Differ from Workplace Injury?
Workplace perils take many forms. They can be loud and swift or silent and gradual.
In the case of occupational disease – any chronic ailment that occurs as a result of work or occupational activity – it’s typically the latter. In fact, many occupational diseases occur so gradually that workers don’t initially draw a connection between their employment and their ailment.
Unlike a workplace injury, which refers to physical harm endured during the course of work, an occupational disease sometimes lacks an obvious cause-effect relationship. Oftentimes occupational diseases go unidentified until a pattern develops indicating that ailment is more prevalent in a given body of workers relative to the general population.
Since the famous London doctor Percivall Pott first established a link between British chimney sweepers and scrotal cancer in the late 1700s, an increasing amount of light has been shed regarding the dangers associated with occupational diseases.
Today, many ailments can be traced to occupational diseases, including:
Lead, mercury, phosphorus or arsenic poisoning
Infection or skin conditions caused by contact with oils, compounds, lubricants, dust, liquids, fumes, gases or vapors
Cardiovascular pulmonary illness
Diseases of the respiratory tract caused by exposure to dust
For a more complete list of potential occupational diseases, visit the FAQ section of the Taubman Law website.
To qualify for an occupational disease claim in Ohio, the conditions of employment must create a greater hazard to the worker than to the general public, the work-related exposure must have a harmful effect on the worker and the ailment must be confirmed by a medical diagnosis.
In Ohio, the date of disability in an occupational disease claim is the most recent of the following three dates available at the time the claim is filed:
The date the condition was diagnosed as an occupational disease
The date the worker first received medical treatment
The date the worker first quits work because of the medical condition
Time limitations apply for filing an occupational disease claim, so don’t put it off until tomorrow – contact Taubman Law today.
At Taubman Law we recognize that suffering from an occupational disease can be devastating for you and your family. We will fight to ensure your employer is held accountable.
This post was written by Cleveland attorney Bruce D. Taubman, who practices workers’ compensation, personal injury and medical malpractice throughout Ohio.