Some industries — such as construction, manufacturing, agriculture, and electrical work — are known to be hazardous and have a higher rate of worker injuries than other professional roles. When accidents do happen in these industries and others, the employer’s workers’ compensation insurance policy is in place to provide benefits for employees who are injured.
In many states, workers’ compensation coverage is meant to pay for medical bills and other expenses following physical injuries such as broken bones, spinal cord trauma, and brain injuries. However, there are other job-related health risks that many workers’ compensations systems do not allow coverage for: The development of occupational illnesses.
Common Occupational Illnesses
An occupational illness is any disease that develops as a result of a person’s work. Exposure to chemicals is a frequent cause of occupational diseases.
Some diseases that are recognized as work-related risks include:
- Heart disease
- Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD)
Change for Workers in Florida
Workers’ compensation divisions have been hesitant to include illness in coverage plans because of the usually gradual nature of disease development, which can contribute to difficulty in determining the true root cause.
Florida lawmakers achieved a major victory for firefighters in the state by legalizing workers’ compensation benefits for employees who develop certain cancers. Cancer is a prevalent occupational risk for those who fight fires, and the allotment of benefits will help many who became sick as a result of their years of service.
Mental illness is starting to be legally recognized as an occupational risk in some industries, particularly in cases of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Florida passed a law permitting PTSD treatment coverage for first responder through workers’ compensation in late 2018.
If you work in the state of Florida and suffered from an on-the-job injury or illness that was caused by your work, you could receive workers’ compensation benefits. Our attorney offers free consultations to speak about the coverage you may be entitled to, and discuss your rights following a work accident.Schedule a free consultation with Bryan Caulfield by sending us a message or calling (727) 308-6060.