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Occupational Diseases

Does this sound familiar? You go to work everyday, but you just don’t feel well whenever you are at your place of work. It is possible you have developed an occupational disease?

Let the attorneys at McEnery Price Messey & Sullivan conduct a thorough investigation into your rights. Our doctor/attorney, Bob Messey, MD, JD and nurse/attorney Gayle Sullivan, RN, JD, will examine the medical and legal facts to help you protect your interests.

If you have developed a disease or illness as a result of your work, or from exposure to something in your workplace, you might not know that you can be compensated for your illness under the Connecticut Workers’ Compensation Act. This law provides for medical treatment, wage replacement benefits, and other benefits for employees who have gotten sick from their jobs.

Connecticut Workers’ Compensation is a no-fault system. It does not matter if the condition was the employee’s fault or the employee was born with a medical condition which predisposed him or her to the illness or increased its severity.

Occupational Disease Defined

Occupational disease has a specific meaning under the Workers’ Compensation Law. It is defined as “any disease peculiar to the occupation in which the employee was engaged and due to causes in excess of the ordinary hazards of employment as such, and includes any disease due to or attributable to exposure to or contact with any radioactive material by an employee in the course of his employment.”

The Connecticut Department of Public Health and the Connecticut Department of Labor maintain the Occupational Disease Surveillance System (ODSS) which utilizes reporting by physicians as a mechanism to collect occupational disease data.

Top Occupational Diseases in Connecticut

The top four occupational disease categories reported by physicians in Connecticut are:

  • Cumulative Trauma Disorders (CTD)
    Also known as repetitive strain injuries, overuse syndrome, CTDs are stress injuries to joints and connective tissues (ligaments, tendons, etc.) over a long period of time.
  • Poisonings
    Suspected agents for these poisonings are mercury, carbon monoxide, solvents, and other chemicals.
  • Skin diseases and disorders
    Occupational dermatitis and burns, including chemical burns, are the most frequently reported types of occupational skin diseases and disorders.
  • Respiratory diseases and disorders
    Occupational asthma (including reactive airway dysfunction syndrome), asbestosis injuries, and pleural plaques are the most frequently reported respiratory diseases and disorders. Other respiratory conditions include silicosis, hypersensitivity pneumonitis, and bronchitis.

Other occupational diseases and illnesses include tuberculosis, heart disease, hypertension, pesticide poisoning, exposure to infectious agents, blood borne diseases from needle sticks and hearing loss.

The Department of Public Health publishes information on many types of occupational diseases. Workers in manufacturing suffer the highest number of occupational diseases, and these claims are most common in workers in their 30’s + 40’s.

Unlike injury claims, the state of Connecticut allows you three years from the first manifestation of a symptom of an occupational disease to file for benefits. Many occupational diseases have a lengthy course and may take years to develop, so do not wait to call us if you think you have a claim.

Call 855-494-8300 for your FREE consultation.

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