An occupational disease is considered to be an illness or ailment that is a result of an incident or series of incidents that occur in the workplace. General hazards or one-time injures like falling from a roof or some materials combusting and causing an explosion are not typically considered to be in this category. It is important to understand the distinction and the difference in consequences between occupational disease and occupational hazards.
Diseases can be the result of prolonged exposure to harmful materials, like asbestos, coal, lead, or other similar substances. These can cause damaging conditions and diseases like asbestosis, lead poisoning, radiation sickness, and other lasting, potentially life-threatening conditions that are not the result of a single incident, accident, or event.
Typically, the way to determine if the disease is related to the office environment or work conditions is to see if the prevalence of the illness among workers is higher than of the general population. If this is the case, there is a good chance that the disease is occupationally-related and must be dealt with accordingly.
While the one-time injuries that occur in the workplace are indeed dangerous, they often do not have the long-reaching implications of a life-long disease that an occupational illness can cause.
If you or someone you love has been diagnosed with a disease that you believe was related to your occupation, you may be entitled to compensation from your employer or another entity. For more information, contact the Austin labor attorneys of The Melton Law Firm at (512) 330-0017 today.