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Disease and injury awareness can improve workplace safety

When the American workforce was new, no one paid much attention to safety, and workers' compensation was a long time away. As workers' suffered injury after injury and became sickened due to materials used at work, it became clear these things were problematic. Lawmakers responded by creating the workers' compensation system, which has helped so many Boston residents and other Americans survive and thrive after an injury.

Obviously, awareness about safety in the workplace can lead to solutions. When employers understand any potential injury and disease risks that may exist for workers, they can address and correct the situation. When employees understand the illnesses and injuries that could occur in the workplace, they can develop strategies to help them avoid an accident. The following list contains a broad range of categories in which many diseases and injuries occur in the workplace.

  • Allergic reactions and skin irritations
  • Fertility issues and pregnancy abnormalities
  • Respiratory conditions like Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) and asthma
  • Infectious diseases like hepatitis and tuberculosis (particularly in the health care industry)
  • Musculoskeletal disorders affecting the upper extremities
  • Disorders that affect the lower back region
  • Sudden or gradual loss of hearing
  • Traumatic injuries caused by a workplace accident

Regardless of why an injury or illness occurs, all eligible workers have the right to file a workers' compensation claim. This program provides ill or injured workers with many benefits that are critical to recovery, financial relief and a speedy return to work in the aftermath of an injury. If for any reason, your claim is denied or your employer discourages you from filing a claim, it is wise to seek legal advice as soon as possible.

Source: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, "National Occupational Research Agenda, Disease and Injury," accessed May 29, 2018

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