Workers in Pennsylvania can face a range of injuries and accidents on the job, and under the Workers Compensation Act, employers are responsible for the medical risks of employment. In order to be considered a work-related injury, the health condition or accident must occur while a worker is engaged in the tasks of employment for the benefit of the employer. This does not mean that the injury must have taken place on the company’s premises in order to qualify for workers compensation benefits.
Under the Workers Compensation Act, “injury” is an umbrella concept that includes a number of detrimental medical conditions associated with the workplace. These include direct workplace accidents, like a fall on the job, as well as repetitive stress injuries. Pre-existing conditions, like asthma, can also be aggravated by the workplace while earlier disabilities can recur on the job. There are also specific types of occupational diseases that are considered work-related, such as chemical poisoning, toxic exposure and certain kinds of infectious diseases for healthcare professionals.
There are other types of work-related diseases that are also covered under the law, even if they are not specifically spelled out. In order to determine whether a disease is occupational in nature, it is important to determine how the employee contracted the disease and why. The three criteria used are the following: whether the employee was exposed to the disease because of their job, whether the disease is caused by the employee’s industry or specific job and whether the disease occurs significantly more among workers in this industry.
When workers are injured on the job or become ill with an occupational disease, it can have a significant impact on their lives and ability to work in their current professions. A workers compensation lawyer may help injured workers protect their rights and pursue the benefits they deserve.