What Qualifies as an Occupational Disease?


Posted by: Chris

Some work-related injuries are obvious, like the ones caused by an accident, a fall, or an explosion. Others are subtle. For example, a worker may develop a condition or illness after years of exposure to repetitive motion, toxic chemicals, dust, noise, or radiation. If you feel you are suffering from a work-related illness or condition, you may be eligible to receive workers’ compensation. In this blog, we will look at what qualifies as an occupational disease.

What Does Occupational Disease Mean?

According to Oklahoma Statutes:

“Occupational Disease”, as used in this act, unless the context otherwise requires, means any disease that results in disability or death and arises out of and in the course of the occupation or employment of the employee or naturally follows or unavoidably results from an injury as that term is defined in this act. A causal connection between the occupation or employment and the occupational disease shall be established by a preponderance of the evidence.” §85A-65

We learn two important things from this definition:

  • An occupational disease is any disease or condition caused by your job; and
  • The connection between the occupational disease and the job has to be proven.

If this sounds like a broad definition, the following examples may help clear things up.

Examples of Occupational Disease

Some of the more common diseases or conditions that may be caused by someone’s job include:

  • Asbestosis;
  • Asthma (work related);
  • Black lung disease;
  • Bloodborne infectious diseases like HIV/AIDS, and Hepatitis B & C;
  • Cancer;
  • Cardiovascular disease;
  • Hearing loss;
  • Repetitive motion and overuse injuries, like carpal tunnel syndrome or back trouble;
  • Latex allergies;
  • Pneumoconiosis;
  • Zika virus.

Mental injury or illness often is not covered by workers’ comp unless it was caused by a physical work-related injury. If you need to claim this type of injury, contact an attorney immediately to review your options.

Call Us to Learn More About What Qualifies as an Occupational Disease

Many factors are considered when determining whether an injury or condition is qualifies for workers’ compensation benefits. If you have been hurt at work, have an attorney review your case immediately.

Do you feel you have suffered an on-the-job injury due to an accident or exposure? If so, contact Armstrong & Vaught, P.L.C. at once. Let our experienced attorneys hold your employer accountable and recover the compensation you deserve. Call us now at 918-582-2500, toll free at (800) 722-8880, or contact us online for a free consultation with a skilled attorney.