Workers can be injured in numerous ways while on the job. While many people commonly believe an on-the-job injury equates to a single accident – such as falling down the stairs or being struck by a falling object – injuries can occur in several ways. For example, countless workers fall victim to occupational diseases each year due to toxic exposure.
Occupational diseases can run the gamut across a broad array of disorders, but here are four of the most common that workers suffer:
- Asthma: Occupational exposure to numerous chemical irritants can lead to serious lung conditions. This could be new-onset asthma or the recurrence of previously latent childhood asthma.
- Carpal tunnel syndrome: Most people equate this with typing or other office-based tasks, but carpal tunnel syndrome can be attributable to a multitude of repetitive tasks. It can be characterized by pain, numbness or tingling of the hand and wrist. It can lead to weakness or loss of fine motor control.
- Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD): Exposure to chemicals, dust and other particulate matter can lead to COPD. Common symptoms of COPD can include breathlessness, coughing, increased sputum and wheezing.
- Contact dermatitis: This can either be allergic-based or irritant-based. Occupational exposure to dangerous materials can cause burning, pain, swelling or reddening of the skin. The skin can appear dry and cracked.
While falling off a ladder or being struck by a forklift in the warehouse can lead to devastating jobsite injuries, toxic exposure in the workplace can result in lifelong conditions requiring numerous doctor visits, treatment plans and medication. If you are concerned about occupational diseases caused by workplace exposure, it is wise to discuss your situation with a skilled legal professional as soon as possible.