How to Keep Occupational Diseases from Affecting Your Workers' Compensation Costs

Know your work environment, know the dangers — and know who you are hiring, advises the Institute of WorkComp Professionals' Teresa Long


June 3, 2009 — A recent report by the American Association of Family Practitioners notes that occupational diseases account for 860,000 illnesses and more than 60,000 deaths each year. And this runs the gamut of causes, everything from coal miners contracting black lung disease to assembly line workers in meat packing plants developing carpal tunnel syndrome.

It would be hard not to realize both conditions are on the opposite spectrum of severity. But what they do have in common that they cost employers a bundle in Workers' Compensation benefits, loss of production and a paperwork nightmare for everyone involved.

Occupational Disease Defined

For all the ways occupational disease affects the Workers' Compensation system, there are those who don't fully understand what it is, how it differs from a standard claim or how it affects an employer.