Many workers in Ohio have contracted illnesses that were caused by the conditions under which they worked. Such illnesses are referred to as “occupational diseases.” A person who has contracted an occupational disease that was caused by work-related conditions may be eligible for workers’ compensation benefits.
A medical diagnosis must confirm the existence of the disease and the causal connection between the disease and one or more work-related conditions. Also, the conditions of the individual’s employment that caused the disease must create a greater chance of a worker contracting the disease than the chance faced by the general public. Among the possible causes of occupational disease are:
- Gases, dust or fumes;
- Toxic Substances;
- Extreme changes in noises, temperature and pressure;
- Vibration, a radioactive ray, constant use that results in pressure or a physical movement that constitutes constant repetition;
- Infectious organisms;
The Ohio workers compensation statute contains a complete list of recognized occupational diseases. In order to receive benefits, the worker must exhibit symptoms of the disease in question. Mere exposure to one or more of the above-stated causes is not sufficient to sustain a claim for occupational disease resulting in benefits.
Anyone who has been diagnosed as having an occupational disease may wish to consult an attorney who specializes in workers’ compensation law. A knowledgeable attorney can provide a helpful analysis of the case, assist the claimant in filing the claim and present supporting evidence.
Source: Ohio Bureau of Workers’ Compensation, “What is an occupational disease claim?,” accessed on Nov. 19, 2016