Obtaining Full Recoveries for Occupational Respiratory Diseases
Workers may develop occupational respiratory diseases due to hazardous workplace conditions. Pennsylvania workers who develop occupational respiratory diseases are likely entitled to workers’ compensation benefits, including medical benefits and partial income replacement. The Philadelphia workers’ compensation lawyers at Larry Pitt & Associates, P.C. have over 35 years of experience handling a broad range of work injury and occupational disease cases. We can help you recover the compensation to which you are entitled.
High Risk Occupations
Dust, chemicals, fibers and fumes all pose health risks to workers in various industries. Some workers have a higher risk of developing an occupational respiratory disease due to the nature of their work and their level of exposure to respirable toxins, including:
- Aerospace industry workers – These workers may be exposed to beryllium, a type of metal used in airplanes, spacecraft, satellites and missiles. It may be inhaled or absorbed through the skin, sometimes causing lung cancer or a fatal disease called berylliosis.
- Coal miners – Miners and other workers who drill through the earth are often exposed to harmful dusts such as silica. Long-term exposure to respirable crystalline silica can cause a deadly lung disease called silicosis or other respiratory diseases such as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and lung cancer. They may also develop black lung disease, a potentially fatal disease that causes scarring of the lungs.
- Construction workers – Construction workers often deal with sand, stone, concrete, insulation, cement, mortar and other substances that contain silica. These workers may also be exposed to other hazards such as wood dust, chemical fumes and asbestos. This can lead to respiratory diseases such as nasal cancer, contact dermatitis, asbestosis and mesothelioma.
- Farmers – Farmers or grain workers are at risk of developing farmer’s lung, a disease caused by exposure to mold spores or bacteria on crops. Exposure can lead to asthma-like symptoms, permanent lung damage and even death.
- Firefighters – Firefighters are exposed to fire, smoke and dust daily. Because of this, they have high rates of cancer including Hodgkin’s lymphoma, lung disease and COPD. Under the Firefighters’ Cancer Presumption Act, all types of cancer are presumed to be work-related provided the worker can meet certain requirements.
- Manufacturers – Manufacturers, including those exposed to fabric fibers, are at risk of developing occupational respiratory diseases. Exposure to cotton, flax or hemp can cause byssinosis, also called black lung, a disease that causes asthma-like symptoms and potentially permanent lung damage. Nylon fibers can also cause workers to suffer flock worker’s lung, a disease that causes inflammation and scarring of the lungs.
- Maritime workers – Workers in the maritime industry may be exposed to respirable crystalline silica, which can lead to silicosis, lung cancer, COPD, kidney disease and other respiratory diseases. Those involved in abrasive blasting operations are at increased risk and must take special precautions.
- Popcorn plant/flavorings industry workers – Bronchiolitis, also called popcorn lung, is a respiratory disease that causes shortness of breath, wheezing and coughing. Those who work in microwave popcorn plants or who work with frostings, syrups, cake mixes and butter flavorings may be exposed to over a thousand hazardous ingredients, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
- Welders – Molten metal and metal coatings produce toxic fumes. Manganese, a chemical element present in welding fumes, can cause a Parkinson’s like disease with symptoms including tremors, fatigue and stiffness. Welders are also at risk of developing COPD and various forms of cancer.
- Woodworkers – Wood dust, a known human carcinogen, can also cause occupational asthma, Hodgkin disease and other serious health issues. Approximately 11 million workers suffer from occupational asthma, according to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA).
Philadelphia Workers’ Compensation Lawyers at Larry Pitt & Associates, P.C. Help Those Suffering From Occupational Respiratory Disease
At Larry Pitt & Associates, P.C., we provide comprehensive legal representation for injured workers in all industries. If you are suffering from a work-related respiratory disease, contact an experienced Philadelphia workers’ compensation lawyer to discuss your case. For a free consultation, call us at 888-PITT-LAW or complete our online contact form.
We are proud to represent workers in Berks County, Bucks County, Chester County, Delaware County, Montgomery County, Philadelphia County and throughout Pennsylvania, including those in Abington, Ambler, Ardmore, Bala Cynwyd, Bensalem, Clifton Heights, Crum Lynne, Darby, Downingtown, Doylestown, Drexel Hill, Essington, Folcroft, Glenolden, Haverford, Havertown, Holmes, Kutztown, Lansdowne, Media, Merion Station, Morton, Narberth, Norristown, Norwood, Philadelphia, Prospect Park, Quakertown, Reading, Roxborough, Sharon Hill, Upper Darby, West Chester, and Wynnewood.