An injured caused by a piece of machinery at work the type of occurrence people usually associate with workers’ compensation benefits. However, the hearing loss suffered by a factory worker exposed to the sounds of steel press each and every day or the office worker who is in constant pain from carpal tunnel syndrome might also qualify for benefits for these and other occupational diseases.
Employers in Arizona with one or more employees must cover them under a workers’ compensation policy free of charge. Workers injured by a work-related activity are eligible to receive benefits, including:
Occupation diseases, to be covered under workers’ compensation, must meet certain criteria, including the following:
Because of the unique nature of their jobs, special rules apply to fire and law enforcement personnel. Proving a disease or condition was work-related is somewhat easier because of a presumption that disease and impairment related to the following are presumed to be occupational diseases:
The presumption applies as long as the individual applying for benefits meets the following criteria:
Common diseases workers might suffer due to exposure to hazardous conditions or substances or to activities performed on the job include:
It is not only exposure to substances in the workplace that can cause illness in a worker. Depending upon the type of activities the job requires, a worker could also suffer from the following conditions:
Some types of occupations subject workers to biological hazards. For example, health care workers can be exposed to viruses, bacteria and germs causing illnesses and diseases. Workers sitting in an air conditioned office could be subject to conditions such as carpal tunnel syndrome caused by repetitive use of their hands or eye problems caused by staring at a computer screen for long hours at a time.
There are any number of factors that can cause or contribute to the development of carpal tunnel syndrome, but repetitive use, such as when typing, or the use of power tools that cause excessive vibration in the hand and lower arm are common causes in the workplace. Carpal tunnel syndrome can cause numbness, weakness and debilitating pain in the hand and wrist.
The cause of an occupational disease is not always as clear as a workplace accident might be, so obtaining benefits through workers’ compensation might be difficult. Don’t lose your right to benefits. Speaking to a an attorney with experience handling occupational disease claims can be helpful.
The lawyers at Arizona Injury Law Group are Certified attorneys offering free consultations for all types of workers’ compensation injuries. Call us today to discuss your Arizona workers’ compensation concerns!
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