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What Is an Occupational Illness?

Doctor wrapping bandage over patient's injured hand

According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), an occupational illness is “any abnormal condition or disorder resulting from a non-instantaneous event or exposure within the work environment.” The World Health Organization (WHO) expands that definition to include “any disease contracted primarily” through the work environment.

A number of conditions are considered occupational illnesses. Among them are the following:

  • Hearing loss
  • Skin diseases or disorders
  • Respiratory conditions (including occupational asthma)
  • Poisoning (by abnormal concentrations of toxic substances)
  • Effects of environmental heat and low temperatures (including heat stroke and frostbite)
  • Radiation exposure
  • Infectious diseases (like HIV, AIDS and hepatitis)

While the aforementioned list accounts for the majority of occupational illnesses, it is far from exhaustive. Many other conditions can fall under this category, including repetitive stress injuries (RSIs) like carpal tunnel.

Are Occupational Illnesses Covered by My Workers’ Comp?

In Florida, the state treats occupational diseases the same as “the happening of an injury by accident.” Still, those who file claims must use medical evidence to prove their employment was the major contributing factor of their illness.

Additionally, state law does not require compensation to be awarded if a claimant had a previous, undisclosed relationship to their disease. If the claimant’s employment worsened a known, pre-existing illness, they must prove that the workplace environment caused their exacerbated condition.

With all these complexities, a lawyer can really come in handy. At Politis & Matovina, P.A., we have helped employees make successful workers’ comp claims since 1993. When providers act unfairly, we also handle bad faith insurance claims.

No matter your situation, getting a fair settlement can help you treat or recover from your illness and improve your quality of life. Since we opened our doors, we have secured more than $200 million on behalf of our clients.

Find out what makes us different today by calling (386) 333-6613 or requesting a free case evaluation.