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What are workplace illnesses?

Most residents in Minnesota know that workers’ compensation benefits may be available to them if they are injured in an accident on the job. However, the state’s workers’ compensation program also provides benefits to you if you become ill due to a work-related situation or environment. The Bureau of Labor Statistics explains that an illness can be deemed work-related if exposure to certain substances caused the disease, exacerbated a pre-existing condition or contributed to the contraction of a disease.

Skin diseases, poisoning, respiratory ailments and hearing loss are just a few examples of workplace diseases. Skin ailments can result from exposure to chemicals that lead to things like chrome ulcers, rashes and contact dermatitis. The absorption or ingestion of toxic materials like insecticides can be the cause of a poisoning. Asbestosis, silicosis and tuberculosis are three types of respiratory diseases that result if you breathe in hazardous materials or chemicals. Frostbite and heatstroke are some other illnesses that can be developed due to a work environment.

Multiple characteristics of workplace illnesses must be assessed including the basics of the actual disease, its treatment and its prognosis. These involve the primary and secondary sources, the nature and length of any exposure, what parts of your body are impacted and what amount of time away from work has resulted. Workplace diseases can be serious and result in death. You may miss days at work or need to be reassigned to a new job function.

This information is not intended to provide legal advice but general information about workplace illnesses among employees in Minnesota.

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