A hundred years ago, workers’ compensation sped financial relief to job injury victims. But a lot has changed in the last century. Financial benefits are still available, but they are more difficult to obtain.
The system is particularly complex with regard to occupational diseases. Frequently, these injuries involve pre-existing conditions. Additionally, it’s not always easy to connect an occupational disease with a work-related condition. These five conditions exemplify these things.
Over thirty million Americans suffer from hearing loss. These injuries do not just have physical impacts. They have emotional impacts as well. Hearing loss victims often withdraw socially and become angry when they cannot hear people. “Raging Bull” Jake LaMotta was partially deaf in one ear. That’s probably why he had uncontrollable anger outbursts.
Occupational hearing loss is quite common in moderately noisy environments, like factory floors and parking garages. These individuals rarely use protective earplugs. So, every day they go to work, their hearing gets worse.
Warehouse workers and other “blue collar” workers bend, kneel, and stoop much of the day. These movements are not natural. Over time, the excess wear and tear on knees and other joints becomes almost unbearable.
A combination of time off and physical therapy is the only effective treatment. Fortunately for these victims, workers’ compensation pays for both lost wages and medical bills. Victims need not prove fault or negligence to obtain these benefits.
For much of the 1900s, builders commonly used asbestos as an insulator and fireproofer. When the Twin Towers collapsed in New York, they contained about 5,000 tons of asbestos. Workers commonly encounter this toxic substance during renovation and demolition projects. One tiny asbestos fiber could cause mesothelioma, a rare and aggressive form of heart/lung cancer.
Super-heated organic materials produce these toxic fumes. So, landscaping workers are highly at risk. Gasoline engines in lawn mowers and other gadgets almost literally bake yard clippings. Benzopyrenes modulate cell DNA, causing cancer cells. St. Louis workers’ compensation attorneys frequently deal with benzopyrene-induced lung cancer. Employers should provide masks and other protective safety equipment, but they do not always do so. In other cases, they do not always instruct workers about the dangers of benzopyrenes.
Computer Vision Syndrome
Outdoor workers are not the only people at risk for occupational diseases. Many office workers stare at computer screens practically all day. And, many bosses only allow occasional breaks. Over time, the blue light these screens emit seriously damage the eyes. If CVS is not caught early enough, this damage could be permanent.
Occupational diseases destroy bodies slowly and meticulously. For a free consultation with an experienced job injury lawyer in St. Louis, contact Schultz & Myers, Personal Injury Lawyers. We do not charge upfront legal fees in these cases.