Whether you spend your work day outside doing physical labor, or sit indoors for eight hours behind a computer screen, it is likely that there are certain conditions inherent in your job that could end up resulting in serious, chronic health conditions. Workers’ compensation benefits may be available to help you deal with the lost wages and medical expenses associated with your illness, but unfortunately many workers are unaware of the types of benefits they may qualify for or how to get them. While proving your condition is job-related may be more challenging than in situations involving more obvious workplace accidents, pursuing a claim for benefits is worth it to ensure you get the compensation you deserve.
How Your Work Environment Could Be Affecting Your Health
Exposure to toxic substances or unhealthy environments, repetitive tasks, poor ergonomics, and job-related stress are all common situations on job sites which take a toll on your overall health and result in an increase in accidents, injuries, and disabling health conditions. According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), an illness is considered to be work-related if it was caused or aggravated by conditions in the workplace. Common types of chronic, work-related illnesses include the following:
- Skin diseases and disorders;
- Respiratory problems;
- Hearing loss;
- Heat stroke;
- Lead and radiation poisonings;
- Muscle and joint disorders;
- Blood borne diseases.
Job Stress and Occupational Injuries
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), work-related stress is not only a common problem in the workplace, but it is also a leading contributing factor in occupational illnesses. Job stress can result in sleep disturbances, digestive disorders, high blood pressure, depression and anxiety disorders, and an increase in potentially dangerous behaviors, such as drinking and overeating, all of which can have a detrimental effect on your overall health, resulting in chronic conditions such as ulcers, heart disease, stroke, and diabetes. In addition to inherently stressful occupations, such as air traffic controllers and emergency medical responders, Health Magazine states that there are common situations in any job that can result in potentially dangerous levels of stress. These include:
- Being overworked or having a demanding boss;
- Being in a technical position in which you are stuck behind a desk with limited exposure to others;
- Dealing with the public in high pressure situations;
- Working in a professional in which you feel ‘burnt out’;
- Being the target of office bullies;
- Being unrecognized and frustrated in your efforts to advance or get ahead.
While anxiety and nervous disorders in and of themselves are not necessarily covered under Florida Workers’ Compensation law, you may be able to get workers’ compensation benefits if you suffered a job related injury or illness as the result of on the job stress.
Reach Out to Us for Help
If you or someone you love is suffering from a chronic health condition that is work related, contact our experienced Florida workers’ compensation attorneys right away. At Hogan Frick, we can advise you on the types of benefits you may be entitled to, such as compensation for lost wages, medical expenses, and temporary or permanent disabilities.