Any illness, condition, or disease to which employees in a particular industry are predisposed is referred to as an industrial sickness. Industrial diseases, sometimes known as “occupational diseases,” are more likely to develop over time than suddenly.
Industrial diseases are more likely to occur in workers in occupations that include repetitive stress, exposure to hazardous substances or chemicals, or a high risk of physical harm.
What are a Few Industrial Disease Types?
Industrial diseases can take on a wide variety of shapes and forms. Repetitive stress injuries like carpal tunnel syndrome, occupational asthma, popcorn lung, and other respiratory conditions, exposure to silica dust and other toxic exposure conditions, skin diseases brought on by chemical sprays or drops, and/or eye diseases or injuries are some examples of industrial diseases.
Working in dangerous conditions contributes to a number of industrial diseases. An illustration of this is when personnel handling specific compounds are not given the required ventilation or breathing apparatus.
Furthermore, industrial illness incidents can occasionally occur in a variety of fields that are not normally regarded as “hazardous” or “risky.” Catering and food service (due to heat exposure), printing, hairdressing, metalwork and machinery, vehicle maintenance, construction, and several healthcare positions are a few examples of such industries.
Statistics about Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
A kind of repeated stress injury called carpal tunnel syndrome is characterized by discomfort, paralysis, or weakness in the wrist region. The nerve compression that results from this disorder travels through the carpal tunnel in the wrist. The most common medical problem, often known as carpal tunnel syndrome, or CTS, is the cause of roughly half of all claims for work-related injuries.
The CTS has obtained the following statistics from the Occupational Safety & Health Administration and the Bureau of Labor Statistics:
Each year, there are about 900,000 cases of carpal tunnel syndrome.
The average number of days missed by employees due to carpal tunnel syndrome is 31 days per occurrence, compared to 23 days for all other repetitive stress injuries and only 9 days for all other ailments.
Carpal tunnel syndrome workers’ compensation claims might cost between $20,000 and $100,000. (some cases involve more).
Only 23% of patients with carpal tunnel syndrome who underwent surgery are able to go back to work.
The term “infinite medical treatment” refers to the continual, long-term care that 36% of patients with carpal tunnel syndrome require.
In individuals with carpal tunnel syndrome, “carpal tunnel release” operations aid in releasing the compressed nerve. They do, however, fail frequently—about 57% of the time.
There are about 230,000 CTS operations performed yearly. Only back surgeries have more performed on them than all other musculoskeletal disorders combined.
The fact that CTS takes so long to recover from and has lingering symptoms makes it more commonly referred to as a “disease” than an accident.
High-Risk Jobs for Carpal Tunnel Syndrome (from Highest to Lowest Risk):
- Employees of cafeterias and cooks
- Electricians who install and maintain electricity lines
- Individuals working in construction and maintenance (including painters)
- Maintenance, building, and painting
- Highway personnel
- The individuals who cut, solder, braze, and weld metal
- Mechanics and mechanics of diesel engines (buses and trucks)
- Cleaners and maids
- Mechanics of industrial machines
- Stockers and freight workers
- Service technicians and auto mechanics
- Drivers of public buses
- General repair and maintenance personnel
- Technicians who install and maintain telecommunications equipment (cable, internet, etc.)
- People who prepare food
- Drivers of large trucks and tractors-trailers
- HVAC (Heating, ventilation, and air-conditioning/refrigeration) specialists
- Carpenters who work in corrections
Carpal tunnel syndrome is the most prevalent entrapment neuropathy, with an adult population frequency of between 2.7 and 5.8 percent.
What Leads to Workplace Asthma? What Signs Point To Occupational Asthma?
Any of the following factors may cause occupational asthma:
- Metals like platinum, chromium, nickel sulfate, and soldering fumes;
- Organic dusts like flour, cereals, and grains;
- Coffee and tea dust;
- Papain dust from meat tenderizer;
- Textile-related materials like cotton, flax, and hemp dust; and
- Animal substances like hair, dander, mites, and bacteria or protein dusts.
Despite the fact that occupational asthma is not a common disease, many workers are forced to work in unhealthful surroundings because of poor air quality and other factors. The majority of the time, symptoms appear at work or after being exposed to a dangerous substance.
Coughing, wheezing, a tightening sensation in the chest, and shortness of breath are just a few of the effects of occupational asthma that you might encounter.
How Does Occupational Asthma Affect Workplace Air Quality?
The air at the workplace is one of the main causes of occupational asthma. Federal and state rules regulate indoor air quality, and changes to your work environment could have an impact on pollutant levels. As a result, the office’s airways should be kept clean and open to the outside.
The condition of the air in and around buildings and/or structures is referred to as indoor air pollution, and your employer may also conduct chemical testing designed to identify potential workplace dangers.
The residents of a building may be affected by indoor air pollution in terms of their safety, health, and general well-being. The pollutants that individuals may be exposed to inside can have both short- and long-term effects on a person’s health.
The U.S. federal government has developed precise indoor air quality regulations to reduce the danger of short- and long-term health consequences brought on by indoor air pollution.
As long as these criteria are equally strict or stricter than those set by federal air quality regulations, states are also permitted to keep their own legislation governing indoor air quality standards. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has been given the exclusive responsibility of creating these guidelines.
Can I File a Lawsuit for Damages from an Industrial Disease?
In rare circumstances, it can be feasible to bring a claim against an employer or business for industrial disease-related losses. For instance, an employer may be held responsible for later cases of industrial disease if they neglected to warn a worker about the hazards involved with a specific job position or task. Or, responsibility can result if an employer made a worker complete a task in dangerous circumstances.
On the other side, many jobs demand that an applicant sign a release or consent form before starting work. It would then be up to the worker to continue with the job despite the risk. Once more, an employer who compels a worker to continue under unfair working conditions may be held liable.
Depending on the severity of the plaintiff’s ailment, the damages in an industrial disease action may change from case to case. Damages may include compensation for monetary losses like unpaid wages and medical expenses.
What Are a Few Typical Defenses to Lawsuits Regarding Industrial Disease?
Compensation for losses brought on by the injury is frequently awarded as part of industrial illness remedies. This typically pays for missed wages, medical bills, and other costs. These kinds of damages are typically compensated by workers’ compensation or by filing a lawsuit.
Among the responses to allegations of industrial sickness are:
- The incident wasn’t specifically work-related.
- The plaintiff misled the court about their claim.
- The injury was merely an exacerbation of one that already existed.
- The claimant took too long to submit it (i.e., the statute of limitations had expired)
Therefore, claims for industrial sickness must be made in a timely way and with a sound claim. The court will typically reject frivolous or speculative cases, and the plaintiff may occasionally be penalized for filing them.
Do I Need an Attorney to Handle My Industrial Disease Claim?
Injuries caused by industrial diseases can occasionally be crippling and frequently interfere with a person’s capacity to work. If you require assistance with submitting a claim for industrial disease injuries, you may want to consult a workers’ compensation attorney.
Your lawyer can help you navigate the local employment and injury laws and even act as your advocate during the trial itself.