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What is an occupational disease?


Avoiding Occupational Diseases

Making an Occupational Disease Claim

An occupational disease is a health problem caused by exposure to a workplace health hazard.

Your workplace should be healthy for your body and mind. You can help to keep yourself and your workplace healthy by being aware of health hazards in your environment.

These workplace health hazards can cause an occupational disease:

  • dust, gases, or fumes
  • noise
  • toxic substances (poisons)
  • vibration
  • radiation
  • infectious germs or viruses
  • extreme hot or cold temperatures
  • extremely high or low air pressure

Learn about these occupational diseases:

Workplace health hazards can cause three kinds of reactions in the body:

  • Immediate or acute reactions, like shortness of breath or nausea, can be caused by a one-time event, (e.g., a chemical spill). These reactions are not usually permanent.
  • Gradual reactions, like asthma or dermatitis (skin rashes), can get worse and persist when you are exposed over days, weeks or months. These reactions tend to last for a longer time.
  • Delayed reactions or diseases that take a long time to develop, like lung cancer or loss of hearing, can be caused by long-term exposure to a substance or work activity. These reactions can be noticed long after the job is over.

Avoiding Occupational Diseases

Compass: Guiding you to a healthy and safe workplace
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