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3 common kinds of workplace respiratory illnesses

On Behalf of | Feb 29, 2024 | Workers' Compensation

Most workplaces, from manufacturing plants and construction sites to hospitals and insurance offices, come with certain hazards. Workers’ compensation exists to help ease the financial burden when these hazards cause injuries or illnesses.

There are many potential dangers, depending on the industry. One of them is respiratory illness.

1. Asthma

Asthma is a chronic respiratory condition that causes inflammation and narrowing of the airways. Various factors can trigger it, including allergens, irritants (such as smoke or strong odors), respiratory infections and exercise. Variables at work can trigger asthma in an individual who did not previously have it or worsen existing asthma conditions.

2. Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease

COPD is a group of progressive lung diseases, including emphysema and chronic bronchitis, that make it difficult to breathe. Smoking is the primary cause of COPD, but long-term exposure to other lung irritants, such as air pollution, chemical fumes or dust, can also contribute to its development.

3. Pneumonia

Pneumonia occurs when an infection causes inflammation in the lungs. Potential causes include bacteria, viruses and fungi. People working in healthcare, construction or agriculture may be at higher risk due to exposure to infectious agents or dust.

Certain employees, such as construction workers, are more at risk of developing respiratory illnesses. When this happens, they may be able to receive workers’ compensation to help with lost wages from missed work and healthcare bills. To prevent workplace respiratory illnesses, employers can take several measures, such as ensuring proper ventilation, providing personal protective equipment and promoting good hygiene practices.