Top Five Occupational Diseases in Maryland Workplaces
Though workplace accidents like falls and crashes can cause serious injuries, some workers may suffer bodily harm through occupational disease. According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), an “occupational” illness or injury is one that occurs over the course of multiple work shifts. For this reason, it can be difficult to pinpoint a single incident that caused you to be hurt at work. As a result, in some cases, it will also be tough to claim workers’ compensation benefits. Your employer’s insurance company may contest the circumstances that caused the injuries or try to blame your medical condition on a pre-existing issue. With the help of a skilled Maryland workers’ compensation attorney, you can overcome challenges related to the top five occupational diseases.
- Skin Conditions and Dermatitis: You may be surprised to learn that skin conditions from exposure to irritants are one of the most serious occupational diseases. According to CDC data, allergic and contact dermatitis accounts for around 15-20 percent of all reported cases. Skin conditions are also the exception when it comes to illnesses associated with certain workplace settings. There is no occupation or industry without some risk of exposure to agents that cause dermatitis.
- Hearing Loss: Another common occupational disease, hearing loss can result from two different work-related occurrences. A sudden, unexpected noise, like one that may happen because of a crash or accident, may result in loss of hearing. However, in other situations, hearing loss occurs over time from exposure to common workplace noise.
- Asbestos-Related Illnesses: Workers in construction are often exposed to asbestos, lead, and other toxic materials as part of the job. Though many of these substances are prohibited in new construction, renovation projects on older homes can lead to serious medical conditions. Asbestosis, mesothelioma, and other lung diseases can be caused by inhaling minuscule asbestos particles.
- Non-Asbestos Respiratory Conditions: The environment of the manufacturing industry exposes workers to many different airborne substances that can be deadly when inhaled. Silicosis is a condition related to the silica dust that is present in the production of construction materials, especially clay and glass.
Surprisingly, respiratory conditions can also affect people working in hair care and cosmetology. Products in this industry often include parabens, ammonia, synthetics, and other hazardous substances that have long-term medical effects. Victims experience occupational asthma, chest tightness, shortness of breath, and related symptoms.
- Joint Pain and Deterioration: Jobs that require constant kneeling, bending at the knees, and stooping may result in joint damage and pain. Carpal tunnel syndrome is common, as are lower back and shoulder conditions. Though some pain medications can help alleviate the symptoms, surgery may be necessary in serious cases.
Talk to an Experienced Workers’ Compensation Attorney Today
Occupational conditions present a considerable threat to Maryland workers, but you do have rights under state workers’ compensation laws. For more information on your legal options, please contact the Law Offices of Steinhardt, Siskind and Lieberman, LLC. We can schedule a free consultation for you at our offices in Glen Burnie, Owings Mills, Ellicott City, or Annapolis, MD.