Understanding Occupational Diseases and Workers Compensation Insurance

Here’s what you need to know about on-the-job illnesses and your workers compensation coverage.

While most employers associate workers compensation insurance with employee injuries, this type of insurance also offers coverage for occupational diseases as well.  But what exactly is an occupational disease?  Here’s what you need to know about occupational diseases and your workers comp coverage.

What is an Occupational Disease?

In regards to workers compensation, an occupational disease is defined as a chronic disorder caused by work activities or environmental conditions within the workplace.  Occupational diseases can affect various parts of the body, such as the bones, lungs, and muscles.  Common types of occupational diseases include:

  • Carpal tunnel syndrome
  • Contact dermatitis
  • Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease
  • Bronchitis
  • Asbestosis
  • Lateral epicondylitis, also known as tennis elbow
  • Asthma
  • Hearing loss
  • Cancer
  • Hand-arm vibration syndrome
  • Tendonitis
  • Rabies

What Causes an Occupational Disease?

There are many workplace factors that can result in on-to-job illnesses for staff members.  For instance, an employee can fall ill after being exposed to harmful gases or chemicals used in business operations.  Staff members can also develop health conditions as a result of mental or emotional trauma and constant workplace stress.  Workers also fall ill due to repetitive motions, exposure to extreme temperatures, and so on.

Who is at Risk?

It’s important to understand that every business carries some risk of their employees developing an occupational disease.  That being said, the development of chronic health disorders is most commonly seen in the auto repair, healthcare, manufacturing, construction, and factory work industries.

How Do Occupational Diseases Affect Your Workers Compensation Insurance?

If an employee is claiming an occupational disease, then they must prove that the ailment was caused by a hazard existing in the workplace.  Additionally, the symptoms of the disease must also be consistent with other documented cases of the illness.  If the employee can prove that their ailment was due to their work activities or environment, then your workers compensation will proceed as usual.  This means that your policy will offer the affected employee coverage for their medical treatment, replace a portion of their lost income, and address the cost of their recovery.

Curious to learn more about how occupational diseases affect your workers compensation insurance?  Then contact the experts at PMC Insurance Group.  We are ready to assist you with all your commercial coverage needs today.