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What is an occupational disease?

When you first hear about occupational diseases, you may wonder what exactly this term means. An occupational disease is a condition you incur while performing your job in California. If you have one of these illnesses, it is usually covered by worker's compensation.

An occupational disease can be one of several different illnesses. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, this category includes respiratory conditions, such as asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and chronic obstructive bronchitis. These conditions are considered occupational diseases because you might incur one of them after inhaling fumes, dust or chemicals at your work place. Although it may not initially seem very serious, hearing loss is also a kind of occupational illness. This is because your hearing can be damaged if you regularly work around loud machinery. Sometimes a skin disease also qualifies as an occupational disease. This can include conditions such as eczema, chrome ulcers and rashes. You may develop one of these conditions if your skin is exposed to certain plants or chemicals.

An occupational disease can also include conditions such as frostbite or sunstroke. Additionally, more serious conditions are typically considered occupational illnesses. This includes poisoning from substances you might encounter on the job, such as mercury, lead or insecticide spray.

Incurring an occupational disease can greatly affect your job. You may easily miss several days of work and in some situations, you may need to perform different duties while you recover from this illness.

This information is general in nature. It should not be used in place of legal advice.

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