What Is an Occupational Illness?
An occupational illness (or disease) refers to any condition, illness, or disease that is contracted because of a person’s work environment or work responsibilities. While other work-related injuries, like physical injuries, can be the result of a single incident, occupational illnesses are the result of repeated exposure to a harmful toxin or condition in the workplace.
Many occupational illnesses can affect a person’s daily life and ability to work and require extensive medical care. Below, we will discuss the most common occupational illnesses construction workers can obtain.
Common Occupational Illnesses Suffered in the Construction Industry
Construction workers can be exposed to any number of environmental toxins, radiation, fumes, dust, noise, or hazardous substances while working. What you may be exposed to can vary based on the type of construction work you. For instance, a demolition worker is more likely to suffer from asbestos than someone who builds new homes.
Here are some of the common occupational conditions that construction workers may suffer from:
- Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).
- Repetitive strain injuries.
- Hearing loss (i.e. noise induced or caused by a severe infection).
- Lung disease or cancer.
- Musculoskeletal disorders.
Workers’ Compensation & Occupational Illnesses
Typically, when people think of workers’ compensation claims, people imagine an employee with a serious physical injury. However, workers, including those in the construction industry, can suffer from work-related illnesses that cause serious health complications. Under Illinois’ Workers’ Occupational Diseases Act, workers exposed to harmful agents and conditions that cause illnesses are protected and can pursue a workers’ compensation claim for their illness.
As with all workers’ compensation claims, you must prove that your disease or illness is the direct result of factors in your work environment. With occupational illness cases, it can be hard to establish liability, especially if a person has worked for many different companies within the time they could have been exposed to the toxin or factor that caused their illness. Working with an experienced attorney can help you investigate causation, collect evidence, and strengthen your case.
At McHargue & Jones, LLC, our attorneys have decades of collective experience and are dedicated to helping workers receive fair workers’ compensation. If you or a loved one have an occupational illness or condition, our firm is here and equipped to help you navigate filing your workers’ compensation case. From advising you of what you may be owed to addressing your questions and concerns, you can trust our team to help you.
Learn more about how our firm can help you and discuss your case with a member of our team. Call (312) 487-2461 or reach out online today to schedule an initial consultation.