What is an Occupational Disease?

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Most people know that if they are injured in an accident on the job, they may be entitled to workers’ compensation benefits. However, not many people are aware that if you develop an occupational disease due to conditions in the workplace, you may also be eligible for benefits.

What is an Occupational Disease? 

Under Nevada law, occupational diseases are covered in NRS Chapter 617. An occupational disease is a medical condition that occurs because of someone’s workplace or work activity. They are typically chronic conditions that have a detrimental impact on a worker’s everyday life. In order to establish that a worker has an occupational disease, it must be demonstrated that there is a connection between the condition and the work performed, that the condition was caused by employment, and that there was nothing outside of work that could have caused the condition. A worker must show with medical evidence that it is more likely than not that their medical condition was caused by their work. If you are diagnosed with an occupational disease, it is crucial that you report it to your employer.

Examples of Occupational Diseases

There is a wide range of medical conditions that could constitute occupational diseases, depending on the work and working conditions. Some examples of occupational diseases include:

  • Repetitive/Stress Injuries—conditions such as carpal tunnel syndrome, tendonitis, and back pain can result from repetitive tasks related to someone’s work.
  • Hearing Loss—workers who perform their jobs in noisy environments may sustain permanent hearing loss as a result.
  • Asbestosis/Mesothelioma—exposure to asbestos in the workplace can lead to the development of these conditions.
  • Cancer—if exposure to toxic chemicals or other substances in the workplace leads to cancer, then it may be an occupational disease.
  • Skin Conditions—contact or exposure to toxic substances can lead to debilitating skin conditions in some instances.

Occupational Disease and Firefighters

Generally, workers must establish a connection between their jobs and their medical condition in order for it to be considered an occupational disease. For some professions, such as firefighters and arson investigators, there is a presumption that some conditions were caused by the work. For firefighters, these conditions include contagious diseases, heart disease, lung disease, and cancer.

Let GGRM Help

If you suffer from a medical condition that is related to your work, you should have your case reviewed by an experienced workers’ compensation attorney. GGRM has been helping injured workers for over 50 years. To set up your free consultation, contact us online or call us at 702-978-7641 today.