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What Jobs Can Cause Occupational Lung Disease?

Posted in Workers Compensation on September 10, 2021

When most people think of work injuries, they think of acute traumatic injuries that are clearly visible. However, there are various types of occupational diseases that are not as visible, including serious lung diseases. Here, we want to discuss what types of jobs are more likely to cause occupational lung diseases. We also want to list the most common lung diseases that can occur as a result of on-the-job exposure.

The Most Common Occupational Lung Diseases

When we look at the information available from Johns Hopkins University, we can see that occupational lung diseases occur after a person sustains “Repeated and long-term exposure to certain irritants on the job.” This can lead to a wide range of lung diseases that have long-lasting effects, even after the exposure ceases. 

Some of the most common symptoms of lung diseases, regardless of the cause, include the following:

  • Coughing
  • Shortness of breath
  • Chest tightness
  • Chest pain
  • Abnormal breathing patterns

Information from Cedars Sinai shows us that some of the most common occupational lung diseases include the following:

  • Mesothelioma/asbestosis
  • Coal worker’s pneumoconiosis or black lung disease
  • Silicosis
  • Hypersensitivity pneumonitis
  • Byssinosis
  • Work-related asthma

Jobs That Cause Occupational Lung Diseases

There are many jobs that can lead to conditions that cause occupational lung diseases for workers. However, some jobs are more likely to cause occupational lung diseases than others, including the following:

  • Construction industries
  • Welders
  • Miners 
  • Factory workers
  • Aerospace industry workers
  • Plumbers
  • Electricians
  • Farmers
  • Firefighters
  • Janitors and housekeepers

This is certainly not a complete list of the types of industries that could lead to occupational lung diseases for employees. Anytime individuals work in areas where there could be exposed to harmful chemicals or particulates in the air for long periods of time, there is a risk that they could sustain an occupational lung disease.

Talking to an Arizona Workers’ Compensation Attorney

If you or somebody you care about has been diagnosed with lung disease and you think that it was caused by the workplace, you need to speak to a skilled Phoenix workers’ compensation attorney as soon as possible. It can be very challenging to prove any type of occupational disease, particularly when insurance carriers and employers push back against these claims.

The difficulty comes in proving that the occupational disease actually occurred due to the workplace environment. Further complicating these issues is the fact that it can take some time for occupational lung diseases to arise, and individuals sometimes are not diagnosed until after they have already retired or after the exposure has ceased. An attorney can work diligently to gather the evidence needed to prove liability for the claim so that individuals suffering from these diseases can receive their rightful workers’ compensation benefits. This can include:

  • Complete coverage of medical bills
  • Prescription medications and oxygen
  • The cost of physical therapy or rehabilitation
  • Lost wages if an individual can no longer work
  • Permanent disability benefits in some situations

The total amount of compensation available in these situations will vary depending on the facts and circumstances surrounding each occupational lung disease case. An attorney will work with trusted medical and economic experts to properly calculate total expected losses and help individuals work through the entire benefits application process.