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A worker’s compensation claim can be filed for any number of reasons. In short, it it’s a result of your job, whether a broken bone, ankle sprain, or even a disease— you can file a claim. While a broken bone or sprain is fairly easy to treat, a disease is something that doesn’t go away quite as easily. For this reason, occupational disease claims are much more rare, serious, costly, and more lenient on timeline.

Occupational Disease Claims: A Rare, Yet Serious Occurrence

How do you contract an occupational disease?

An occupational disease (we’ll call them OD’s for short) occurs due to ‘work-related exposure,’ to any number of things. From dust, gases, radiation, fumes, extreme changes in pressure, radiation— any experience that can cause long-lasting effects. There is a complete list of occupational diseases you can look at here. But, a few strong examples are: bronchitis, mercury poisoning, carbon monoxide poisoning, or loss of hearing.

What is the statute or limitations for occupational disease?

Being that OD’s are less common, and can occur at any period of time after exposure, the statute on these claims is two years from the time you visit the doctor.

How do you, as an employer, minimize these claims?

While an OD claim is a bit more difficult to fake than, say, a broken ankle— there will still be an attempt at some point in time. So, what can you do as an employer to ensure fewer claims? But, also, what can you do as an employer to minimize the risk? For starters, you can require medical exams for each employee before hire, as well as annual exams. This might seem like a costly thing to do. But, an OD claim will likely be much more costly.

To prevent OD claims, consider providing a ‘health and safety in the work place’ course once every six months, or year. Having well-educated workers when it comes to safety precautions can prevent many injuries. Not to mention, proper supervision of the working environment can make a large difference. Accidents do happen, and inevitably— some will. But doing your part to keep workers aware of safety measures, you can make a big difference.