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What is an occupational illness?

Any California resident who has suffered from a bout of the common cold may be able to generally describe what an illness is. Most may claim that an illness is a condition that affects a person's body due to the invasion of a bacterial or viral element into them. Different illnesses may cause individuals to suffer different symptoms, but in most cases the illnesses that individuals pick up in their daily lives resolve themselves without significant medical intervention.

An occupational illness has commonalities with and differences from regular illnesses. Whereas an occupational illness is also caused by a person's interaction of a foreign substance or chemical, what makes it unique from other illnesses is that the exposure occurred at the individual's place of work. Encounters with chemical, biological and substances can cause individuals to suffer illnesses and harm.

Occupational illnesses can affect many parts of victims' bodies. In some cases the illnesses manifest in respiratory problems, such as in cases where victims breathe in dangerous substances during the course of their work. Other occupational illnesses may result in serious harm to victims' skin through exposure to caustic chemicals or other dangerous agents.

Workers should not have to deal with dangerous substances at work, and if there are no other substances with which their work may be completed they should be provided with equipment to help them stay healthy and safe. Occupational illnesses can rob men and women of their abilities to perform their job duties and to provide for the people that count on them. Instances of occupational illnesses may be compensable and cases involving them may be reviewed with attorneys who work in this practice area.

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