Chronic conditions such as asthma or back pain may be related to your employment. Recognizing the signs of occupational illnesses is important so that you receive the treatment you need through workers’ compensation benefits. In 2017, more than 2.8 million non-fatal workplace injuries and illnesses were reported by private companies, according to the U.S. Department of Labor Statistics.
If you are one of the millions hurt or who fell ill because of work, you need to consult with the certified Ohio workers’ compensation attorneys at Kademenos, Wisehart, Hines, Dolyk & Wright Co. LPA right away. Certified workers’ compensation specialists Adrienne Hines and Victor Kademenos can determine what benefits you may be entitled to receive, and will help fight for you to secure the compensation you deserve.
What is an Occupational Illness?
Occupational illnesses are ailments and conditions that result from exposures at your place of employment. Workers’ compensation benefits are available for occupational illnesses that happened through the course of and arising from the duties of your job. Common types of occupational illnesses and conditions include:
- Biological exposures – These include bloodborne pathogens, animal antigens, or communicable diseases. Industries with high rates of occupational illnesses related to biological include health care, farming, and laboratories.
- Chemical exposures – These often arise from working around solvents, metals, fumes, dust, mists, and vapors. Businesses with occupational illnesses related to chemical exposure include factories, foundries, mining, and construction.
- Physical exposures – This type of exposure might include noise, heat, radiation, force awkward posture, vibration, repetitive motion. Occupational illness related to this exposure can be found in a wide range of environments, including offices, factory floors, and construction sites.
- Psychological exposures – These are perhaps the hardest to determine and measure, but they include poor relationships with supervisors or co-workers, crushing workloads, forced overtime, or job insecurity. Psychological exposures are likely found in every workplace.
With occupational illnesses, your health may slowly deteriorate due to one or more exposures. For example, you may be suffering from hearing loss. Depending on your age, you might think this is simply the result of aging. It could, however, be an occupational illness if you work around loud machinery.
Don’t assume that a chronic condition isn’t related to work, even if your doctor has not investigated that possibility. You owe it to yourself to discuss your possible occupational illness with a workers’ compensation lawyer. Doctors who specialize in this area can determine if there are any links between your health condition and your workplace.
Filing a Claim
If you believe your occupational illness is work-related, the first step is notifying your employer. After that notification, you, your employer, or a managed care organization will file a First Report of Injury. Even if your employer is upset by your notice, you have a legal right to pursue your workers’ compensation claim. You should immediately discuss any attempt at retaliation for filing a claim with our attorneys.
Once a claim is filed, the Ohio Bureau of Workers’ Compensation will investigate it and has 28 days in which to allow or deny it. Disallowed claims can be appealed to the Industrial Commission of Ohio, and if the claim is again denied, it can be heard by the Court of Common Pleas. While that sounds easy enough, the process can be complex and difficult. That’s why having our attorneys working on your behalf is crucial.
Contact an Ohio Workers’ Comp Attorney to Learn More
If you believe you might be suffering from an occupational illness, you need to discuss your possible claim with our attorneys. The sooner one of the skilled workers’ compensation attorneys from Kademenos, Wisehart, Hines, Dolyk & Wright Co. LPA is on your case, the quicker you will understand your rights, possibly receive compensation, and get the treatment you need.