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The Most Common Types of Occupational Illnesses

The Most Common Types of Occupational Illnesses

If an employee is injured while on the job or performing work-related activities, they are entitled to workers’ compensation in New Mexico. Yet, not all accidents are related to a specific, isolated incident like falling off a ladder or crashing a delivery vehicle. In many instances, a disease or disorder can be caused by work or working conditions over a long period. These are known as occupational illnesses.

Our Albuquerque workers’ compensation attorney details the most common occupational illnesses and how to get compensated for them in New Mexico.

What Are the Most Common Occupational Illnesses?

Occupational illnesses can have myriad causes but usually develop due to excessive wear-and-tear on the body or due to exposure to hazardous products. They may be caused by your work environment (such as a chemical plant) or the nature of the work itself (such as typing for hours on end). The most common are detailed below.

Hearing Loss

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), hearing loss is the most common occupational disease in the United States. Workers who are regularly exposed to noisy environments, such as factories and construction sites, are especially at risk. An isolated event such as an explosion can also lead to hearing loss. Protective gear helps, but sometimes workers still sustain partial or full hearing loss regardless of precautions, especially if they are exposed to loud noises over many years.

Skin Disorders

Skin disorders are typically caused by jobs that expose workers to chemicals, the sun, allergens, or even regular contact with a liquid, including water.

Common skin conditions that workers get on the job include:

  • Eczema
  • Hives
  • Rashes
  • Contact dermatitis
  • Skin cancer

Contact dermatitis and skin cancer are the most serious of the above. Contact dermatitis accounts for 15% to 20% of all reported occupational diseases nationwide, according to the CDC. It is characterized by a painful rash, which is often triggered by an allergic reaction or some kind of irritation.

Skin cancer is a common form of cancer especially prevalent in workers who are regularly exposed to UV rays. Anyone who regularly labors outdoors, such as farmers and oil rig workers, is especially susceptible. Abnormal growths, painful skin tags, and moles are signs you need to visit your doctor for a checkup.

Respiratory Problems

Breathing problems are common at workplaces that expose their employees to irritants such as asbestos, toxic gasses, polluted air, and/or dust. Examples of high-risk careers include construction workers, miners, health care workers, factory and textile workers, bakers, and automotive industry workers.

Work-related respiratory problems can include:

  • Asbestosis
  • Asthma
  • Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD)
  • Hypersensitivity pneumonitis
  • Lung disease
  • Tuberculosis

Musculoskeletal Disorders

Examples of musculoskeletal disorders include carpal tunnel syndrome, rotator cuff tendinitis, arthritis, and hernias. People who work in professions that involve a lot of movement and/or repetitive activity are the most at risk. This includes many workers nurses, typists, butchers, cashiers, and warehouse workers.

What Should I Do If I Have an Occupational Illness?

Occupational diseases can be excruciating and costly—in some cases, they even lead to permanent or long-term disability. An experienced lawyer with years of experience with workers’ compensation cases in New Mexico can fight for your right to just compensation to pay for your medical bills, lost wages, and more. For more information about filing for worker’s compensation, see our FAQ page or give us a call.

Have you or a loved one suffered from an illness or disorder as a result of your job? Our Albuquerque occupation illness attorney can help you receive workers’ compensation. Contact us today.

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