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A Tuscaloosa Work Injury Lawyer Discusses Occupational Diseases

Feb 14, 2022 - Workers' Compensation/Work Injury by

When most people think of workers’ compensation insurance, they think of coverage for injuries sustained in an accident, such as falls and electrocutions. While workers’ compensation is certainly a resource for workers injured in these types of mishaps, it also exists to assist workers suffering from a work-related, or occupational, disease. A Tuscaloosa work injury lawyer from our firm explains.

Occupational Disease Defined

Alabama defines an occupational disease as “a disease arising out of and in course of employment…which is due to hazards in excess of those ordinarily incident to employment in general and is peculiar to the occupation in which the employee is engaged but without regard to negligence, or fault, if any, of the employer.” 

Occupational Disease Examples

While there are a variety of diseases that may be classified as occupational diseases, there are some diseases our Tuscaloosa work injury lawyer sees more often than others. 

Lung Diseases

Many claims for occupational illnesses are related to diseases of the lungs. Typically, these diseases are caused by consistent, long-term exposure to unsafe materials such as chemicals or fibers. These irritants are breathed into the lungs and can cause major damage, which often continues even after exposure has ended. Industries with the most claims for lung disease are mining, construction, factory work, fire-related industries, and agriculture. Common symptoms of these diseases are:

  • Chest pain
  • Shortness of breath,
  • Coughing
  • Tightness in chest

Some of the most common lung diseases are:

  • Black Lung: Consistently inhaling coal dust leads to permanent lung damage, including inflammation and scarring. Black lung is also known as coal worker’s pneumoconiosis. Lack of ventilation while mining contributes greatly to cases of black lung.
  • Asbestosis: Exposure to asbestosis often occurs in construction work. Inhaling asbestos fibers can cause significant lung problems, including scarring and stiff tissue.
  • Work-Related Asthma: Some occupations, especially those in manufacturing and farming operations, can cause work-related asthma. This is due to inhaling toxic gasses, vapors, and fumes. Work-related asthma can make it difficult to breathe, and cause wheezing and coughing.

Hearing Loss 

Occupational Hearing Loss (OHL) occurs in situations where the level of noise is hazardous, reaching 85 decibels or higher. When a worker is consistently exposed to sound at such a high level, they may experience hearing loss. Plants for manufacturing and refining, as well as construction sites, are common places where workers suffer from OHL. As OHL occurs gradually over time, many people do not realize they are suffering from hearing loss until a significant amount has already been lost. 

Speak With A Tuscaloosa Work Injury Lawyer at Cross & Smith, LLC

If you are suffering from a work-related illness or disease, workers’ compensation may be available to provide you with the resources you need during this difficult time. Contact our firm to speak with a Tuscaloosa work injury lawyer to find out more. We may be reached by calling 877-791-0618 or via our contact page.

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Posted By: Shane Weaver

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