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11 workplace injuries and illnesses

Your workplace is supposed to be safe, and that means doing more than removing trip hazards and providing adequate lighting. Employers have to consider all potential harm that employees could suffer and steps that can be taken to protect them.

That's not to say that the workplace will be entirely without risk. Some jobs are inherently dangerous. However, identifying the problems often makes it possible to take steps to reduce that risk. For example, understanding that falls are a serious concern on construction sites helps to show employers why they should invest in fall protection equipment and train employees on how to use it.

With that in mind, here are 11 different injuries and diseases that could impact workers, per the U.S. Department of Labor:

  • Allergic reactions
  • Irritant dermatitis
  • Pregnancy abnormalities
  • Fertility issues
  • Asthma
  • Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD).
  • Hearing loss
  • Lower back pain and related disorders
  • Infectious diseases
  • Upper body musculoskeletal disorders, especially in the extremities
  • Traumatic injuries

It's very important to remember that illness and disease play a huge role in worker health. People often think only of traumatic physical injuries -- a crushed leg, a broken rib or a deep laceration -- when considering workplace accidents. The reality is that prolonged exposure to things like dust, chemicals and noise can also lead to serious health issues, even if all of the damage is not done at one time.

Those who are harmed in the course of their work must know all of the legal options they have, including their rights to workers' compensation. This is true for both minor and major injuries.

Source: The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, "Disease and Injury," accessed Feb. 01, 2018

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