Two years ago over 21 employees at a Austin pork plant contracted a rare neurological disease which resulted from breathing in parts of pigs. These medical complications were the result of an occupational exposure and it is fair to say that workers’ compensation will ultimately be responsible for the workers’ illnesses. MPR News recentely posted an article on this topic which can be read here.
Occupational diseases due to chemical, solvent, irritant or fume exposure are all types of compensable work related injuries. Injuries are compensable if the employment is a substantial contributing factor, not only to the cause of the condition, but also to the aggravation or acceleration of a pre-existing condition. Whether an injured worker may eventually develop a condition such as diabetes or asthma has no relevance to an analysis of whether it is compensable (Treazie v. United Health).
These types of injuries rely heavily on medical support and documentation. If you feel you have an occupational disease it is important that you discuss with your treating doctor immediatly as to the potential cause of the injury. You may also want to contact a workers’ compenation attorney so a proper investigation can be done as to cause of the occupational disease.