The Most Common Occupational Illnesses

Many people believe workers’ compensation benefits are designed to help those who have been injured as a result of a sudden accident, such as being injured when slipping on a wet floor or having something fall off a shelf and land on their head. However, not all workplace injuries happen suddenly. In fact, many of them happen slowly and gradually over time, and you may not even notice it until you’re consistently dealing with the consequences. Occupational illnesses are extremely difficult to overcome, and those who suffer from them may also be eligible for workers’ compensation.

Want to learn more about occupational illnesses? Let’s take a closer look at some of the most common occupational illness conditions that are sustained by workers everywhere.

Skin Disorders

Skin afflictions can arise from a variety of workplace hazards. Do you work outside regularly? You could be at a much greater risk for one of these hazards than those who aren’t. However, indoor workers who are exposed to damaging substances could also be at risk.

Some common workplace-caused skin illnesses can include:

  • Eczema
  • Skin cancer
  • Skin infections
  • Rashes
  • Ulcers
  • Inflammation
  • Dermatitis

Respiratory Illnesses

Being able to breathe freely is vital to your quality of life, and inhaling substances which can cause damage to lung tissue can leave a lasting and possibly permanent impact on your health. In the short term, these substances can aggravate allergies and cause discomfort, but in the long term, they can lead to scar tissue, lung damage, cancer, and other serious consequences. Those who frequently work around toxic chemicals, such as construction workers or those who work in manufacturing are the most at risk.

Some common respiratory conditions from workplaces include:

  • Occupational asthma
  • Mesothelioma
  • Tuberculosis
  • Silicosis
  • Pharyngitis
  • Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD)

Hearing Loss

Airport workers, construction workers, those who work around loud machinery, or even those who work in entertainment and have to be around loud noises constantly may suffer from hearing loss after continual exposure to high amounts of noise. Have you ever been to a concert and left with muted hearing and a ringing sensation in your ears? This is a sign of minor temporary hearing loss, and continually being exposed to that level of noise can lead to it possibly becoming permanent and your hearing never fully recovering.

If you think you’re recovering from hearing loss, you should speak with a doctor as soon as possible and get evaluated. Workers in loud places are strongly advised to use protective equipment such as earbuds or earmuffs to keep the sound out, but no equipment is perfect. Workers’ compensation may be able to cover the costs of a hearing aid to help overcome this condition.


The most common type of workers’ compensation injury is an overexertion injury. These injuries are extremely varied, and can come in many different forms based on when your body can’t take the stress it is under any further and simply gives out. While many people think of these issues as something throwing out your back or straining a muscle while lifting something heavy (a sudden accident), overexertion can cause problems to develop over time as well. It’s strongly advised you report these incidents to an employer as soon as possible if you begin to suffer from any of these conditions.

Some overexertion-related occupational illnesses include:

  • Hernias
  • Leg injuries
  • Ankle sprains
  • Joint damage
  • Arthritis

If you have suffered an occupational illness due to your working conditions, it’s important to obtain legal representation as soon as possible. Employers will frequently attempt to try to absolve their liability and claim the working conditions did not cause the health problem you are experiencing. An Atlanta workers’ compensation attorney from The Law Offices of Nathaniel F. Hansford, LLC can help you pursue the compensation you are entitled to and get the assistance you need with treatment and recovery.

Call The Law Offices of Nathaniel F. Hansford, LLC today by dialing (770) 629-9321 to request a case evaluation.