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What are occupational diseases and how do they develop?

On Behalf of | Aug 5, 2021 | Workers' Compensation |

Throughout life, many people deal with occasional aches and pains. Sometimes, this kind of discomfort can come and go. Unfortunately, other people find themselves dealing with occupational diseases in Illinois. An occupational disease is a chronic ailment that someone deals with as a result of their job. Here’s more information about the most common occupational disease and how they develop.

Skin conditions

One of the most common types of occupational diseases involves the skin. These conditions often happen due to exposure to chemicals. Skin diseases can also develop by having wet hands for prolonged periods. Common things that can cause skin irritation are acids, oils, detergents, and solvents.

Musculoskeletal ailments

One study found that musculoskeletal injuries account for 43% of all workplace injuries. Common types of musculoskeletal ailments can include tendonitis and carpal tunnel syndrome. In most cases, these injuries develop over time and result from workers performing repetitive motions for long periods.

Respiratory diseases

Many workers also deal with occupational diseases involving the respiratory system. Respiratory illnesses are often reasons why employees file workers’ compensation claims. Respiratory diseases like asthma and COPD often develop from workers breathing in dangerous chemicals.

Hearing loss

Some people also deal with hearing loss related to their jobs. This occupational disease is commonplace among workers regularly exposed to loud noises. Research from NIOSH concluded that 18% of those working in high noise environments experienced hearing loss from their jobs. Hearing loss typically occurs in the construction, manufacturing, and mining industries.

To summarize, occupational diseases can occur in many industries affecting workers in a wide range of roles within a company. By following workplace protocols, you can help protect yourself.