Common irritants to the lungs are found in many forms including:
- Dust from coal, asbestos, silica, talc, wood, cotton, and fiberglass
- Fumes produced in jobs that involve welding, smelting, furnace work, ceramics, and plastics manufacturing
- Smoke produced by burning materials can contain a variety of irritants in the form of particles, vapors, and gases
- Mists from pesticides, spray paint, and cleaning products
Prevention of Occupational Respiratory Diseases
Occupational respiratory diseases have no cure so prevention is critical. For many hazardous substances, there are federal standards for exposure with which employers must comply to protect their workers. Safety measures include taking steps to reduce dust and measuring the number of airborne particles to ensure they remain at acceptable levels. For tasks where dust cannot be reduced, respirators must be provided. Proper ventilation also helps keep the air in the workplace clean. If you are in Bustleton or South Philadelphia and have been diagnosed with an occupational respiratory disease, you may have to change jobs if your employer cannot limit your exposure.
Pennsylvania law provides for workers’ compensation benefits if your respiratory disease was caused by or aggravated by your employment. To be eligible for compensation, the disability had to take place within 300 weeks of your last job in an occupation that exposed you to the hazard. If your claim is successful you may receive payments for lost wages, specific loss benefits, and medical care including medicine and rehabilitation services. The statute of limitations for filing is very specific so it is crucial that you contact a qualified attorney without delay.
How Soon Should I File a Claim?
You must file a workers’ compensation claim immediately after being injured or diagnosed with an occupational disease. It is important to note that the disability that came from the disease must have occurred within 300 weeks of your employment. You must also keep in mind that you only have three years from the date of the injury to file a claim petition. For this reason alone, you should consult a workers’ compensation attorney as soon as possible after suffering an injury on the job.
When it comes to respiratory illnesses, time limits changed slightly. You must have worked in this occupation for at least two years during ten years before contracting the disease. A good rule of thumb is to file and document everything as soon as possible. You should enlist the help of a Philadelphia occupational respiratory disease attorney.
These cases are complex, and you cannot trust just anyone to handle your livelihood and your future. Do not waste time working with your employer’s insurance company, as they will try to make you settle and lowball you. Instead, contact our firm today to discuss the details of your case and your legal options.
Learn More About Occupational Respiratory Disease in Philadelphia From Gross & Kenny, LLP
At Gross & Kenny, LLP, our skilled attorneys have the knowledge and experience to handle complex cases of occupational respiratory diseases in Philadelphia. Call us now for a free consultation about your case. We proudly serve injured workers throughout Philly and the surrounding areas, such as South Philadelphia and Bustleton.