You expect your workplace to be a safe environment. Depending on your occupation, you may or may not be in love with your job, but you probably consider it generally healthy and safe. However, no workplace is completely safe from potential environmental hazards or improper maintenance.
Workplace hazards can not only result in injuries, but also illnesses. But what illnesses can develop at your job? Here are five common workplace illnesses you could be at risk of contracting in a harmful environment:
1. Skin reactions, disorders and diseases
If you use or come into contact with chemicals, you could be at risk of skin reactions. Being around sprayed chemicals, being splashed or immersing your hands in chemicals could result in reactions as well as irritations. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), examples of skin exposure illnesses at work include:
- Contact dermatitis
- Friction blisters
Exposure to chemicals could also cause certain types of cancer.
2. Musculoskeletal disorders
Musculoskeletal injuries usually involve the back, rotator cuff or limbs. Common complications include chronic back pain and carpal tunnel syndrome. These disorders can result from overexertion, heavy lifting or improper posture.
You could ingest or absorb a toxic substance into your body while at work. Workplaces may have mercury, lead, arsenic, carbon monoxide, insecticide or formaldehyde. If you ingest or absorb these substances, you could develop a disorder from having a high amount of toxin in your blood.
4. Hearing loss
Certain workplaces can be loud, from construction sites to performance venues. If you are exposed to loud noises, you could notice your hearing becomes significantly impaired.
5. Respiratory conditions
If you work somewhere where you breathe in any harmful chemicals, biological agents, gases, fumes or dust, you could get a respiratory illness. This includes mesothelioma, tuberculosis, asthma and pharyngitis.
Depending on where you work and the nature of your job, you could be at risk for serious illnesses. If you develop an illness on the job, you could be entitled to compensation.