Many workers’ compensation cases in Ohio filed as occupational diseases can more properly be classified as accidental injury claims.
Because of restrictive limitations in many types of occupational disease claims, it’s often in the best interests of the worker, where the facts warrant, to have claims considered as injury claims.
Even though claimants are suffering from diseases of the respiratory tract or skin diseases which are clearly occupational diseases, if the worker can prove some unusual, sudden or unexpected occurrence on the job that subjected them to more than the ordinary exposure to dust, oil, smoke, chemicals or other matter which caused their sickness, they can be considered as having an accidental injury.
For example, in a silicosis case, the claimants may have inhaled an unusual amount of silica dust because of an explosion in the plant or from a misplaced fan blowing quantities of dust upon them. This could be considered an accidental injury.
In skin disease cases, workers may be able to prove the overturning of a barrel of oil or chemicals which subjected them to an unusual amount of matter which caused their skin eruption. This, too, should constitute sufficient grounds to establish an accidental injury.