Pennsylvania Worker’s Compensation Occupational Disease Lawyer
Not all Pennsylvania workers’ compensation claims are for traumatic injuries such as broken bones, herniated discs, amputations, strains, and sprains. The Pennsylvania Workers’ Compensation Act also provides benefits for workers who develop an occupational disease caused by their employment and related thereto. Even individuals with pre–existing diseases that are aggravated or worsened by their job can receive workers’ compensation benefits under Pennsylvania law.
Presumed Occupational Diseases In Pennsylvania
The Pennsylvania Workers’ Compensation Act sets forth certain diseases which arise in particular circumstances which are presumed to be occupational diseases. They include:
- Poisoning by arsenic, lead, mercury, manganese, or beryllium, their preparations or compounds, in any occupation involving direct contact with exposure thereto.
- Poisoning by phosphorus, its preparations or compounds, in any occupation involving direct contact with exposure thereto.
- Poisoning by methanol, carbon bisulfide, carbon monoxide, hydrocarbon distillates (naphthas and others) or halogenated hydrocarbons, toluene diisocyanate (T.D.1.) or any preparations containing these chemicals or any of them, in any occupation involving exposure thereto.
- Poisoning by benzol, or by nitro, amido, or amino derivatives of benzol (dinitro-benzol, aniline, and others), or their preparations or compounds, in any occupation involving or exposure thereto.
- Caisson disease (compressed air illness) resulting from engaging in any occupation carried on in compressed air.
- Radium poisoning or disability, due to radioactive properties of substances or to Roentgen-ray (X-rays) in any occupation involving exposure thereto.
- Poisoning by, or ulceration from chronic acid, or bichromate of ammonium, bichromate of potassium, or bichromate of sodium, or their preparations, in any occupation involving exposure thereto.
- Epitheliomatous cancer or ulceration due to tar, pitch, bitumen, mineral oil, or paraffin, or any compound, product or residue of any of those substances, in any occupation involving exposure thereto.
- Infection or inflammation of the skin due to oils, cutting compounds, lubricants, dust, liquids, fumes, gasses, or vapor, in any occupation involving exposure thereto.
- Anthrax occurring in any occupation involving the handling of, or exposure to wool, hair, bristles, hides, or skins, or bodies of animals either alive or dead.
- Silicosis in any occupation involving exposure to the dust of silicon dioxide.
- Asbestosis and cancer resulting from direct contact with, handling of, or exposure to the dust of asbestos in any occupation involving such contact, handling or exposure.
- Tuberculosis, serum hepatitis, infectious hepatitis or hepatitis C in the occupations of blood processors, fractionators, nursing, or auxiliary services involving exposure to such diseases.
- Hepatitis C in the occupations of professional and volunteer firefighters, volunteer ambulance corps personnel, volunteer rescue and lifesaving squad personnel, emergency medical services personnel and paramedics, Pennsylvania State Police officers, police officers requiring certification under 53 Pa.C.S. Ch. 21 (relating to employees), and Commonwealth and county correctional employes, and forensic security employes of the Department of Public Welfare, having duties including care, custody and control of inmates involving exposure to such disease. Hepatitis C in any of these occupations shall establish a presumption that such disease is an occupational disease within the meaning of this act, but this presumption shall not be conclusive and may be rebutted. This presumption shall be rebutted if the employer has established an employment screening program, in accordance with guidelines established by the department in coordination with the Department of Health and the Pennsylvania Emergency Management Agency and published in the Pennsylvania Bulletin, and testing pursuant to that program establishes that the employee incurred the Hepatitis C virus prior to any job-related exposure.
- Diseases of the heart and lungs, resulting in either temporary or permanent total or partial disability or death, after four years or more of service in fire fighting for the benefit or safety of the public, caused by extreme over-exertion in times of stress or danger or by exposure to heat, smoke, fumes or gasses, arising directly out of the employment of any such firemen.
- Byssinosis in any occupation involving exposure to cotton dust, cotton materials, or cotton fibers.
- Coal worker’s pneumoconiosis, anthraco-silicosis and silicosis (also known as miner’s asthma or black lung) in any occupation involving direct contact with, handling of, or exposure to the dust of anthracite or bituminous coal.
- Cancer suffered by a firefighter which is caused by exposure to a known carcinogen which is recognized as a Group 1 carcinogen by the International Agency for Research on Cancer.
It is important to remember that the above diseases are not the only occupational diseases for which an individual could be awarded workers’ compensation benefits. The Pennsylvania Workers’ Compensation Act also defines an occupational disease as, “[a]ll other diseases (1) to which the claimant is exposed by reason of his employment, and (2) which are causally related to the industry or occupation, and (3) the incidence of which is substantially greater in that industry or occupation than in the general population.”
All claims need to be supported by medical evidence that establishes the individual’s job caused the occupational disease. Moreover, a claim for workers’ compensation death benefits can be brought in Pennsylvania if an occupational disease resulted in a worker’s death.
Speak With A Workers’ Compensation Occupational Disease Lawyer
If you believe or have been told by a doctor that a disease you or a loved one has been caused by their job, please give the occupational disease workers’ compensation attorneys at Goodwin Como, P.C. a call at (724) 438-1616 or contact them online to schedule a free initial consultation. We are eager to hear your experience in your own words. The initial consultation is free and if we accept your occupational disease workers’ compensation claim, there is no fee unless we recover workers’ compensation benefits for you.